Epilepsy and arousal

Sang Hun Lee, Ethan M. Clement, Young Jin Kang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Epilepsy is characterized by recurrent seizures. Certain seizure types cause dysregulation of arousal and conscious awareness, whereas others relatively spare those impairments. Prior studies suggest that whether impaired consciousness is present or not during seizures largely depends on whether affected areas include cortical and subcortical regions that regulate consciousness. In absence epilepsy and temporal lobe epilepsy, consciousness impairments have been relatively well studied. Accordingly, we will discuss cellular and circuit mechanisms underlying dysregulation of consciousness in those types of epilepsies. Mechanistically, normal coordinated network activity (e.g., gamma oscillations) plays a key role in maintaining consciousness, whereas abnormal network activity in epilepsy (e.g., 3- to 4-Hz spike-and-wave discharges in absence seizures) is thought to be closely associated with dysregulation of consciousness. Thus, we will stress coordinated network activity in conjunction with its critical role in normal consciousness and dysregulation of consciousness in epilepsy. Finally, we will consider treatment strategies for dysregulation of consciousness in epilepsy and future directions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArousal in Neurological and Psychiatric Diseases
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9780128179925
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Arousal
  • Awareness
  • Consciousness
  • Hippocampus
  • Thalamocortical circuits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • General Neuroscience


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