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Epilepsia. 2005;46 Suppl 4:26-30.

Neurochemical underpinnings in bipolar disorder and epilepsy.

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Department of Psychiatry, University LMU Munich, Munich, Germany.


In this article, we discuss and highlight some of the potential neurochemical underpinnings of bipolar disorder (BD) and epilepsy. Some similarities are found in both disorders, such as the episodic course of the illnesses, the possible mechanism of kindling, and the efficacy of some antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in treatment, all pointing to a common underlying pathophysiology. Common mechanisms at the level of ion channels might include the antikindling and the calcium-antagonistic and potassium outward current-modulating properties of AEDs. However, future research on intracellular mechanisms might become decisive for a better understanding of the similarities between the disorders.

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