Early life stress in epilepsy: A seizure precipitant and risk factor for epileptogenesis

Jolien S. van Campen*, Floor E. Jansen, Pierre N. E. de Graan, Kees P. J. Braun, Marian Joels

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Stress can influence epilepsy in multiple ways. A relation between stress and seizures is often experienced by patients with epilepsy. Numerous questionnaire and diary studies have shown that stress is the most often reported seizure-precipitating factor in epilepsy. Acute stress can provoke epileptic seizures, and chronic stress increases seizure frequency. In addition to its effects on seizure susceptibility in patients with epilepsy, stress might also increase the risk of epilepsy development, especially when the stressors are severe, prolonged, or experienced early in life. Although the latter has not been fully resolved in humans, various preclinical epilepsy models have shown increased seizure susceptibility in naive rodents after prenatal and early postnatal stress exposure. In the current review, we first provide an overview of the effects of stress on the brain. Thereafter, we discuss human as well as preclinical studies evaluating the relation between stress, epileptic seizures, and epileptogenesis, focusing on the epileptogenic effects of early life stress. Increased knowledge on the interaction between early life stress, seizures, and epileptogenesis could improve patient care and provide a basis for new treatment strategies for epilepsy. (C) 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-171
Number of pages12
JournalEpilepsy & Behavior
Volume38
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep-2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Epilepsy
  • Stress
  • Hormones
  • Seizures
  • Cortisol
  • Prenatal
  • CORTICOTROPIN-RELEASING HORMONE
  • TEMPORAL-LOBE EPILEPSY
  • PERCEIVED SELF-CONTROL
  • TONIC-CLONIC SEIZURES
  • PRENATAL STRESS
  • INFANTILE SPASMS
  • CEREBROSPINAL-FLUID
  • BETA-ENDORPHIN
  • SERUM PROLACTIN
  • ANTENATAL CORTICOSTEROIDS

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