Pathophysiology of childhood epilepsies
Köhling R., Jefferys JG.
© 2004 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Our aim in this chapter is to discuss the neuronal basis of epileptic discharges, how this is affected by developmental processes, and finally what kinds of problems during development can lead to epilepsy in infants and children. First, however, we outline how bioelectric activity is generated. Bioelectricity refers to the ability of cells to generate the membrane potential, i.e. an electric gradient across the membrane, which can undergo sudden changes that will allow for information coding. The principles underlying these phenomena have mainly been discovered in animal experiments, but also in human tissue obtained from surgical resections, showing that they are virtually identical across a wide range of species, including humans.