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Epilepsia. 2011 Jan;52 Suppl 1:13-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2010.02906.x.

Molecular mechanisms of cognitive and behavioral comorbidities of epilepsy in children.

Author information

  • Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, Aurora, USA. Brooks-Kayal.Amy@tchden.org


Intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs) such as autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs) and epilepsies are heterogeneous disorders that have diverse etiologies and pathophysiologies. The high rate of co-occurrence of these disorders, however, suggests potentially shared underlying mechanisms. A number of well-known genetic disorders share epilepsy, intellectual disability, and autism as prominent phenotypic features, including tuberous sclerosis complex, Rett syndrome, and fragile X syndrome. In addition, mutations of several genes involved in neurodevelopment, including ARX, DCX, neuroligins, and neuropilin 2 have been identified in children with epilepsy, IDDs, ASDs, or a combination of thereof. Finally, in animal models, early life seizures can result in cellular and molecular changes that could contribute to learning and behavioral disabilities. Increased understanding of the common genetic, molecular, and cellular mechanisms of IDDs, ASDs, and epilepsy may provide insight into their underlying pathophysiology and elucidate new therapeutic approaches for these conditions.

Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2011 International League Against Epilepsy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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