Book cover: Brain Development and Epilepsy
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credit: Oxford University Press
Schwartzkroin PA, Moshe SL, Noebels JL, Swann JW, editors. Brain development and epilepsy. New York: Oxford University Press; 1995. p. 1-352.

In recent years, developmental neurobiologists have made significant progress toward understanding the processes that determine normal organization and function of the central nervous system. Although this research provides the necessary basis for examining the factors that contribute to the age-dependent expression of seizures, there has been surprisingly little communication between developmental neurobiologists and the clinicians who deal with pediatric epilepsy patients. An understanding of normal and pathological functions in the immature central nervous system requires a special appreciation of developmentally unique mechanisms.

This integrated volume applies the emerging concepts in developmental neurobiology to an understanding of the origins of the epilepsies of childhood. Early chapters give a picture of the age-specific epileptic syndromes and their associated pathologies, and describe experimental approaches toward understanding the basic mechanisms underlying these clinical phenomena. The following chapters provide an outline of developmental properties that may be critical to the generation of abnormal excitability, and pose hypotheses about pathological consequences of "mistakes" in key developmental processes. The final chapters attempt to integrate our knowledge of both maturational and epileptogenic mechanisms as a means not only for understanding epilepsies of the immature organism, but also for developing more effective treatment of these often devastating syndromes.