The role of thalamic nuclei in genetic generalized epilepsies
SourceEpilepsy Research, 182, (2022), article 106918
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC SMN
SubjectAction, intention, and motor control
There is no doubt on the participation of the thalamus in the various types of genetic generalized epilepsies as evidenced by multiple non-invasive imaging studies in humans as well as invasive studies in animal models of GGE. Based on human and mostly animal data gathered in early 2000 a so called ‘three compartment model’ on seizure generation was proposed conceptualizing the existence of a hyperexcitable cortical seizure onset zone providing excitation to relay cells of the relay thalamus and the inhibitory reticular thalamic nucleus (RTn). The interplay of corticothalamic excitation and feedforward inhibition via RTn is supposed to entrain thalamic relay neurons into synchronous, oscillatory activity for SWD sustainment. With the emergence of more fine-tuned experimental techniques and analyses, however, it becomes apparent that this model is too simplistic as the thalamus cannot be regarded as unity. Rather, different thalamic nuclei, being integrated in different thalamocortical and other subcortical subloops, need to be differentiated, which take over different functions for seizure generation, generalization and maintenance. Moreover, these networks are not necessarily the same for different classes of patients with GGE and can even be antagonistic between seizure types. This review will summarize data concerning different nuclei and their participation in GGE in order to extend this model and create a more detailed concept on seizure generation, generalization and maintenance.
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