Chapter

Perturbations of Dendritic Excitability in Epilepsy

Cha-Min Tang and Scott M. Thompson

in Jasper's Basic Mechanisms of the Epilepsies

Fourth edition

Published on behalf of ©Jeffrey L. Noebels, Massimo Avoli, Michael A. Rogawski, Richard W. Olsen, and Antonio V. Delgado-Escueta

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199746545
Published online April 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199322817 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199746545.003.0037

Series: Contemporary Neurology Series

Perturbations of Dendritic Excitability in Epilepsy

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The dendrite is where thousands of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs are received by the neuron. But rather than just being a simple antenna, the dendrite is also the location where these inputs actively interact with intrinsic conductances. The interactions are complex and are still incompletely understood. The synaptic inputs are distributed in time and space, and each of the many intrinsic dendritic conductances is also distributed in its own unique spatial pattern. The interactions lead to signal transformations whose significance may be best appreciated in terms of elementary steps in signal processing and computation. Under pathological conditions, changes to these interactions may result in aberrant excitability and contribute to neurological disease. Rather than compiling a list of dendritic conductances and their linkages with epilepsy, which is done in other chapters of this book, the purpose of this chapter is to integrate these results, with an emphasis on how perturbations of the elementary steps in dendritic integration affect the way neurons process their inputs and promote aberrant neuronal excitability.

Chapter.  7424 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neurology

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