Neuron-glia interactions in the pathophysiology of epilepsy
Virginia Tech School of Neuroscience Scientists have just published a Nature Reviews article on Neuron-glia interactions in the pathophysiology of epilepsy. It exposes novel mechanisms by which glia, important brain support cells, may contribute to epilepsy offering ideas for novel treatment approaches. Virginia Tech is home to the largest assembly of scientist who focus specifically on the function of glial cells in epilepsy.
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder afflicting ~65 million people worldwide. It is caused by aberrant synchronized firing of populations of neurons primarily due to imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission. Hence, the historical focus of epilepsy research has been neurocentric. However, the past two decades have enjoyed an explosion of research into the role of glia in supporting and modulating neuronal activity, providing compelling evidence of glial involvement in the pathophysiology of epilepsy. The mechanisms by which glia, particularly astrocytes and microglia, may contribute to epilepsy and consequently could be harnessed therapeutically are discussed in this Review.