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Seizures can promote more seizures through maladaptive myelination, new findings suggest

Myelin – the insulating layer surrounding neuronal axons – is essential for neuronal function. Once thought to be quite unchanged throughout our lives, myelin is actually continually being remodeled in response to brain activity. Now recognized as a key mode of activity-dependent neural network adaptation, myelin plasticity is essential to cognitive functions such as attention, learning and memory. New research in rodent models of generalized epilepsy has demonstrated that absence seizures, or brief, sudden lapses of consciousness, can cause abnormal changes in myelin plasticity, maladaptively leading to progressively more seizures.

In this podcast we spoke to Juliet Knowles, MD, PhD, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, about the research which led to this discovery and the implications this could have on not just epilepsy treatment, but the treatment of other neurological disorders as well.

Date: 12th January 2023