Hippocampal sclerosis revisited

Paul D. Fisher, Ellen F. Sperber, Solomon L. Moshé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

85 Scopus citations

Abstract

Studies dating back more than 150 years reported a relationship between hippocampal sclerosis and epilepsy. Retrospective studies of patients who underwent temporal lobectomy for intractable partial epilepsy found a relationship between a history of early childhood convulsions, hippocampal sclerosis, and the development of temporal lobe epilepsy. Many believe that febrile seizures lead to hippocampal damage and this in turn predisposes the patient to the development of temporal lobe epilepsy. Studies in adult rats have shown that seizures can lead to hippocampal damage and unprovoked recurrent seizures. However, many questions remain as to the relevance of early childhood seizures to hippocampal sclerosis and temporal lobe epilepsy. Human prospective epidemiologic studies have not shown a relationship between early childhood seizures and temporal lobe epilepsy. Recent MRI studies in humans suggest that a preexisting hippocampal lesion may predispose infants to experience febrile seizures, later on hippocampal sclerosis, and possibly temporal lobe epilepsy may occur. Unlike the studies in adult rats, normal immature rats with seizures have not been shown to develop hippocampal damage or unprovoked seizures in adulthood. Furthermore, animal studies reveal that preexisting brain abnormalities can predispose to hippocampal damage following seizures early in life. This paper reviews evidence for and against the view that early childhood convulsions, hippocampal sclerosis, and temporal lobe epilepsy are related, while also exploring clinical and animal studies on how seizures can lead to hippocampal damage, and how this can result in temporal lobe epilepsy. By better understanding the cause and effect relationship between early childhood seizures and hippocampal injury in normal and abnormal brains specific treatments can be developed that target the pathogenesis of epilepsy. Copyright (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)563-573
Number of pages11
JournalBrain and Development
Volume20
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1998

Keywords

  • Development
  • Epilepsy
  • Febrile seizures
  • Hippocampal sclerosis
  • Human
  • Rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology

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