• Special Issue Topic


    Submission Deadline: August 31, 2024

    Guest Editor

    Jinwei Zhang E-Mail

    Principal Investigator, University of Exeter Medical School, Exeter, UK

    Research Keywords: Epilepsy, protein phosphorylation, kinases, ubiquitin, signalling, cellular chloride volume regulation, disease mechanism

    About the Special Issue

    The history of epilepsy dates back to ancient times, and evidence of the condition can be found in various cultures around the world. In ancient Greece, epilepsy was believed to be caused by the gods, and it was often referred to as the "sacred disease". The famous philosopher Plato was believed to have had epilepsy, and his seizures were described in detail by his student Aristotle [1].

    In the Middle Ages, epilepsy was often associated with demonic possession, and people with the condition were often treated harshly or even killed. It wasn't until the Renaissance that the medical understanding of epilepsy began to improve, with doctors such as Thomas Willis and John Locke studying the condition and proposing that it had a physical rather than supernatural cause [2].

    In the 19th century, the French physician Jean-Martin Charcot made significant contributions to the understanding of epilepsy, and his work helped to establish the condition as a neurological disorder [3]. Other influential figures in the history of epilepsy include John Hughlings Jackson, who proposed that epilepsy was caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain [4], and Wilder Penfield, who pioneered surgical treatments for the condition [5].

    Today, epilepsy is recognized as a complex neurological disorder, and over 50 million individuals worldwide are affected by epilepsy. that affects millions of people worldwide according to the World Health Organization (WHO).  While the exact cause of epilepsy is not fully understood, there are several factors that are known to increase the risk of developing the condition. These include:

    1). Genetic factors: Studies have shown that there may be a genetic component to epilepsy, with certain genes (e.g SLC12A5, encoding K+-Cl– cotransporter KCC2 [6]) being associated with an increased risk of developing the condition.

    2). Brain injuries: Brain injuries, such as those caused by trauma, stroke, or infection, can increase the risk of epilepsy. This is because these injuries can disrupt the normal functioning of the brain and lead to the development of abnormal electrical activity.

    3). Infections: Infections that affect the brain, such as meningitis or encephalitis, can cause inflammation and damage to the brain, which can lead to the development of epilepsy.

    4). Developmental disorders: Developmental disorders such as autism and neurofibromatosis are associated with an increased risk of epilepsy.

    5). Prenatal factors: Exposure to certain factors during pregnancy, such as maternal drug use or infections, can increase the risk of epilepsy in the child.

    6). Brain tumors: Brain tumors can disrupt the normal functioning of the brain and lead to the development of epilepsy.

    7). Idiopathic: In some cases, the cause of epilepsy is unknown, and it is referred to as idiopathic epilepsy.

    Further, not all individuals with risk factors will develop epilepsy, and individuals without known risk factors can still develop the condition. Treatment for epilepsy typically involves medications, and in some cases, surgery or other interventions may be recommended. 

    There are several effective drugs that are commonly used to treat epilepsy. Some of the most commonly prescribed antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) [7] include Carbamazepine (Tegretol), Valproic acid (Depakote), Lamotrigine (Lamictal), Levetiracetam (Keppra), Oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), Phenytoin (Dilantin), Topiramate (Topamax), Gabapentin (Neurontin), Pregabalin (Lyrica), and Ethosuximide (Zarontin) etc. These drugs work by suppressing the abnormal electrical activity in the brain that leads to seizures. The choice of drug depends on the type of epilepsy, the age of the patient, and other factors such as medical history and co-existing conditions. A combination of drugs may also be prescribed in some cases. It is important to note that the effectiveness of these drugs can vary depending on the individual, and regular monitoring is necessary to ensure that the drugs are working effectively and not causing any adverse effects.

    It is estimated that around 30% of individuals with epilepsy do not respond to the medication currently available [8], indicating a significant need for the development of new and innovative therapies. This suggests that more research is needed in improving our understanding of epilepsy and its causes and developing more effective treatments.

    This Special Issue welcomes contributions that aim to improve our understanding of the causes of epilepsy, disease mechanisms, new therapeutic targets, novel treatment strategies, drug development, and other related areas.


    1. Muramoto O, Englert WG. Socrates and temporal lobe epilepsy: a pathographic diagnosis 2,400 years later. Epilepsia. Mar 2006;47(3):652-4. doi:10.1111/j.1528-1167.2006.00481.x

    2. Williams AN. Thomas Willis's practice of paediatric neurology and neurodisability. J Hist Neurosci. Dec 2003;12(4):350-67. doi:10.1076/jhin.12.4.350.27910

    3. Faber DP. Jean-Martin Charcot and the epilepsy/hysteria relationship. J Hist Neurosci. Dec 1997;6(3):275-90. doi:10.1080/09647049709525714

    4. Hogan RE, English EA. Epilepsy and brain function: common ideas of Hughlings-Jackson and Wilder Penfield. Epilepsy Behav. Jul 2012;24(3):311-3. doi:10.1016/j.yebeh.2012.04.124

    5. Leblanc R. Penfield, focal microgyria, and epilepsy. J Neurosurg. Mar 19 2021:1-7. doi:10.3171/2020.9.JNS202900

    6. Tillman L, Zhang J. Crossing the chloride channel: The current and potential therapeutic value of the neuronal K(+)-Cl(-) cotransporter KCC2. Biomed Res Int. 2019;2019:8941046. doi:10.1155/2019/8941046

    7. Wojcik K, Franciszek Kolek M, Dec-Cwiek M, Slowik A, Bosak M. Trends in antiseizure medications utilization among women of childbearing age with epilepsy in Poland between 2015 and 2019. Epilepsy Behav. Feb 2023;139:109091. doi:10.1016/j.yebeh.2023.109091

    8. Loscher W, Klitgaard H, Twyman RE, Schmidt D. New avenues for anti-epileptic drug discovery and development. Nat Rev Drug Discov. Oct 2013;12(10):757-76. doi:10.1038/nrd4126

    Keywords: Epilepsy, disease mechanisms, new therapeutic targets, novel treatment strategies, drug development

    Call for Papers

    Published Articles

    Open Access
    Case Report
    Using magnetic resonance-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy corpus callosotomy to lateralize a seizure focus for staged surgical approach
    New onset refractory status epilepticus (NORSE) is an etiologically heterogeneous condition that is associated with high morbidity and mortality. NORSE is often refractory to medical management prom [...] Read more.
    Kabir Sheikh ... Jeffrey Raskin
    Published: June 03, 2024 Explor Neurosci. 2024;3:198–206
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.37349/en.2024.00044
    Times Cited: 0
    Open Access
    Current advances in epilepsy among patients with arteriovenous malformations
    Epileptic seizures are prevalent in people with brain vascular abnormalities like arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) and cavernous malformations, greatly affecting their quality of life. The connect [...] Read more.
    Joham Choque-Velasquez ... Alder Fernando Valenzuela-Rangel
    Published: May 13, 2024 Explor Neurosci. 2024;3:175–197
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.37349/en.2024.00043
    Times Cited: 0
    Open Access
    Original Article
    First outcomes of a therapeutic platform for drug resistant epilepsy based on transcutaneous electrical vagus nerve stimulation
    Aim: The aim of this paper is to discuss the main features and first outcomes of a therapeutic platform proposed to implement a public health therapeutic service for patients suffering refractory [...] Read more.
    Rene Ivan Gonzalez-Fernandez ... Jose Luis Hernandez-Caceres
    Published: April 12, 2024 Explor Neurosci. 2024;3:144–155
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.37349/en.2024.00041
    Times Cited: 0
    Open Access
    Stigma and psychosocial problems in patients with epilepsy
    Epilepsy, a prevalent neurological disorder, is characterized by chronic seizures resulting from abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Adequate medical treatment allows roughly 70% of patients  [...] Read more.
    Kubra Yeni
    Published: December 06, 2023 Explor Neurosci. 2023;2:251–263
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.37349/en.2023.00026
    Open Access
    Mini Review
    Nutritional treatment with the ketogenic diet in children with refractory epilepsy: a narrative review
    The two mainstays of therapy for refractory epilepsy are medication and surgery. Child behavioral and cognitive aspects of epilepsy can be improved by using a specialized dietary regimen such as the [...] Read more.
    Srilaxmi Vityala ... Swathi Nenavath
    Published: October 30, 2023 Explor Neurosci. 2023;2:245–250
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.37349/en.2023.00025
    Times Cited: 0