ScienceDaily (July 7, 2009) — Chronic seizures caused by traumatic head injuries may result from chemicals released by the brain’s immune system attempting to repair the injured site, according to a study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder.
The findings could help prevent one of the most common forms of adult epilepsy, called acquired epilepsy, which is often found in people who have suffered a brain injury or infection, according to CU-Boulder psychology and neuroscience Professor Daniel Barth, the study’s chief author.
For decades researchers have focused on neurons as the culprits in seizures, which can be characterized as debilitating “electrical storms” in the brain.
However, recent research has shown that micro-glial cells may play a major role in seizures. Researchers have found that glial cells, which are supportive cells that also constitute a major part of the brain’s immune system, cluster within areas in the brain when a severe brain injury has occurred.