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Epilepsy Behav. 2013 Mar;26(3):253-60. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2012.09.022. Epub 2012 Dec 6.

Searching for new targets for treatment of pediatric epilepsy.

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Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology, University of California-Irvine, Irvine, CA, USA.


The highest incidence of seizures in humans occurs during the first year of life. The high susceptibility to seizures in neonates and infants is paralleled by animal studies showing a high propensity to seizures during early life. The immature brain is highly susceptible to seizures because of an imbalance of excitation and inhibition. While the primary outcome determinant of early-life seizures is etiology, there is evidence that seizures which are frequent or prolonged can result in long-term adverse consequences, and there is a consensus that recurrent early-life seizures should be treated. Unfortunately, seizures in many neonates and children remain refractory to therapy. There is therefore a pressing need for new seizure drugs as well as antiepileptic targets in children. In this review, we focus on mechanisms of early-life seizures, such as hypoxia-ischemia, and novel molecular targets, including the hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channels.

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