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Physiol Rev. 2006 Jul;86(3):941-66.

Voltage-gated calcium channels and idiopathic generalized epilepsies.

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Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary, Canada.


The idiopathic generalized epilepsies encompass a class of epileptic seizure types that exhibit a polygenic and heritable etiology. Advances in molecular biology and genetics have implicated defects in certain types of voltage-gated calcium channels and their ancillary subunits as important players in this form of epilepsy. Both T-type and P/Q-type channels appear to mediate important contributions to seizure genesis, modulation of network activity, and genetic seizure susceptibility. Here, we provide a comprehensive overview of the roles of these channels and associated subunits in normal and pathological brain activity within the context of idiopathic generalized epilepsy.

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