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Epilepsy and Memory$
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Adam Zeman, Narinder Kapur, and Marilyn Jones-Gotman

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199580286

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580286.001.0001

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Memory and epilepsy in nonhuman animals

Memory and epilepsy in nonhuman animals

(p.339) Chapter 19 Memory and epilepsy in nonhuman animals
Epilepsy and Memory

Pierre-Pascal J. Lenck-Santini

Gregory L. Holmes

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews neurophysiological studies of the effects of seizures on cognition in nonhuman animals. Animal models have contributed extensively to our understanding of the consequences of both status epilepticus and recurrent seizures on cognitive abilities. Animal studies allow the investigator to control many variables including age, seizure duration, number and frequency of seizures, and therapy. While a variety of animals have been used, the preponderance of the research on seizure-related effects on memory has been confined to rodents. While the prefrontal cortex is primarily responsible for working memory and the hippocampus is critical for reference memory, both effective working and reference memory are dependent upon the interplay between these structures. The majority of studies have demonstrated that either prolonged or frequent seizures result in a variety of cognitive deficits, including memory impairment. These studies have paralleled human studies and have provided insight into the pathological mechanisms responsible for seizure-induced cognitive deficits. While there are limitations to how much results from animal studies can be extrapolated to humans, biological changes responsible for these deficits are likely to play a role in the cognitive co-morbidities seen in humans with epilepsy.

Keywords:   seizures, animal models, status epilepticus, rodents, cognitive deficits, memory impairment

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