UCI News

Epilepsy marked by neural 'hub' network

An increased number of neuron "hubs" in the epileptic brain may be the root cause for the seizures that characterize…

March 25, 2008

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.