An increased number of neuron “hubs” in the epileptic brain may be the root cause for the seizures that characterize the disorder, according to a UC Irvine study. Using a computer model, researchers Robert Morgan and Ivan Soltesz with the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology identified that these hubs – a small number of highly connected neurons – are formed in the hippocampus during the transition from a healthy brain to an epileptic one. The increased number of connections among these hubs, they found, circulate and amplify signals to such a degree that they overwhelm brain networks, leading to epileptic seizures.