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Does Acquired Epileptogenesis in the Immature Brain Require Neuronal Death?


Because epilepsy often occurs during development, understanding the mechanisms by which this process takes place (epileptogenesis) is important. In addition, the age-specificity of seizures and epilepsies of the neonatal, infancy, and childhood periods suggests that the processes and mechanisms that culminate in epilepsy might be age specific as well. Here we provide an updated review of recent and existing literature and discuss evidence that neuronal loss may occur during epileptogenesis in the developing brain, but is not required for the epileptogenic process. We speculate about the mechanisms for the resilience of neurons in immature limbic structures to epileptogenic insults, and propose that the type, duration and severity of these insults influence the phenomenology of the resulting spontaneous seizures.

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