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Relevance of kindling and related processes to human epileptogenesis.

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CIBA-GEIGY Ltd., Basel, Switzerland.


1. Kindling and related processes belong to the most extensively investigated models of experimental epilepsy. In this paper an attempt is made to outline their significance to human epileptogenesis. Below the most relevant findings are summarized: 2. Animal data: kindling and related processes are progressive in nature and occur in a great number of animal species including Rhesus monkeys and baboons; progressive epileptogenesis seems dependent on predisposition to seizure susceptibility and develops slower the higher the position of the respective species is in the phylogenetic scale; spontaneously recurrent seizures as well as permanent electroencephalographic, behavioural, electrophysiological and biochemical alterations have been observed following kindling; kindling development can be suppressed by clinically used antiepileptic drugs. These data illustrate the similarity of kindling and related processes to certain aspects of human epilepsy. 3. Human data: one case of human brain kindling and several cases of spontaneously recurrent seizures following electroconvulsive treatment are known; the progressive nature of human epilepsies is exemplified by observations of untreated patients, factors accompanying the failure of monotherapy, and the existence of multiple lesions (mirror foci) in cerebral tumour patients. 4. The material presented clearly indicates that kindling and related processes can occur in man as well as in animals. This should have implications for the treatment of epileptic patients as well as for brain stimulation techniques.

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