How do nonsynaptic interactions affect the pathophysiology of epilepsy?

Updated: May 30, 2019
  • Author: David Y Ko, MD; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

Electrical fields created by synchronous activation of pyramidal neurons in laminar structures, such as the hippocampus, may increase further the excitability of neighboring neurons by nonsynaptic (ie, ephaptic) interactions. Changes in extracellular ionic concentrations of potassium and calcium are another possible nonsynaptic interaction, as is increased coupling of neurons due to permanent increases in the functional availability of gap junctions. This last may be a mechanism that predisposes to seizures or status epilepticus.


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