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AES 2022 | Seizures promote epilepsy progression through maladaptive myelination

Myelin in the brain is continually being remodeled in response to brain activity, and this activity-dependent myelin plasticity is essential to functions such as learning, memory, and attention. Juliet Knowles, MD, PhD, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, presents new findings on the changes of myelin plasticity that occur as a result of seizures. The study, which assessed the effect of absence seizures on white matter in both rat and mouse models, concluded two main results. Firstly, there were increases in myelin plasticity and myelination associated with the seizure network that occurred as a result of absence seizures. Secondly, these maladaptive changes in myelin plasticity contributed to epilepsy progression i.e. rewired the brain to be more susceptible to seizures. This effect may occur in other types of epilepsy as well, however future studies are needed to confirm this. This interview took place at the American Epilepsy Society (AES) Annual Meeting 2022 in Nashville, TN.

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