Medicine (Northwest Academic Centre) - Research Publications

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    Familial Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy and the Borderland of Deja Vu
    Perucca, P ; Crompton, DE ; Bellows, ST ; McIntosh, AM ; Kalincik, T ; Newton, MR ; Vajda, FJE ; Scheffer, IE ; Kwan, P ; O'Brien, TJ ; Tan, KM ; Berkovic, SF (WILEY, 2017-08)
    OBJECTIVE: The cause of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) is often unknown. We ascertained to what extent newly diagnosed nonlesional MTLE actually represents familial MTLE (FMTLE). METHODS: We identified all consecutive patients presenting to the Austin Health First Seizure Clinic with MTLE and normal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or MRI evidence of hippocampal sclerosis over a 10-year period. Patients' first-degree relatives and pairwise age- and sex-matched controls underwent a comprehensive epilepsy interview. Each interview transcript was reviewed independently by 2 epileptologists, blinded to relative or control status. Reviewers classified each subject as follows: epilepsy, specifying if MTLE; manifestations suspicious for epilepsy; or unaffected. Physiological déjà vu was noted. RESULTS: Forty-four patients were included. At the Clinic, MTLE had been recognized to be familial in 2 patients only. Among 242 subjects interviewed, MTLE was diagnosed in 9 of 121 relatives versus 0 of 121 controls (p = 0.008). All affected relatives had seizures with intense déjà vu and accompanying features; 6 relatives had not been previously diagnosed. Déjà vu experiences that were suspicious, but not diagnostic, of MTLE occurred in 6 additional relatives versus none of the controls (p = 0.04). Physiological déjà vu was common, and did not differ significantly between relatives and controls. After completing the relatives' interviews, FMTLE was diagnosed in 8 of 44 patients (18.2%). INTERPRETATION: FMTLE accounts for almost one-fifth of newly diagnosed nonlesional MTLE, and it is largely unrecognized without direct questioning of relatives. Relatives of patients with MTLE may experience déjà vu phenomena that clinically lie in the "borderland" between epileptic seizures and physiological déjà vu. Ann Neurol 2017;82:166-176.
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    Anxiolytic effects of rapid amygdala kindling, and the influence of early life experience in rats
    Jones, NC ; Kumar, G ; O'Brien, TJ ; Morris, MJ ; Rees, SM ; Salzberg, MR (ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV, 2009-10-12)
    The incidence of psychiatric disturbances is elevated in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) patients. Early life stressful events are believed to have a major impact on mental health later in life, and increasing evidence suggests that such stresses may also promote a vulnerability to TLE. This study investigated whether subjecting rats to early life stress exacerbated mood and cognitive disturbances associated with the development of epilepsy. On postnatal days 2-14, rat pups were separated from their dams for either 180 min/day (handling and maternal separation--HMS180, modelling early life stress) or 15 min/day (control handling and maternal separation--HMS15). At 7 weeks, rats were implanted with a bipolar electrode into the left amygdala. Following recovery, one group of rats from each litter underwent rapid amygdala kindling (RAK) epileptogenesis, while another underwent sham kindling. One week following this, rats were subjected to behavioural tests assessing anxiety and cognition. HMS180-exposed rats kindled faster than HMS15 rats (p<0.0001). RAK induced a potent anxiolytic effect as evidenced by increased % time spent in the open arms of the elevated plus maze, compared with sham kindled rats (p<0.0001). This anxiolytic effect was also observed in the open field task, as evidenced by increased time spent in the inner area (p=0.010). Neither RAK nor maternal separation had any effect on cognitive function in the Morris water maze. We conclude that maternal separation stress accelerates limbic epileptogenesis in adult rats, and that RAK induces potent anxiolytic effects that are not influenced by such early life stressful events.
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    NMDA receptor hypofunction leads to generalized and persistent aberrant gamma oscillations independent of hyperlocomotion and the state of consciousness.
    HAKAMI, TAHIR MOHAMMED HADI BROHI ; JONES, NIGEL ; Tolmacheva, Elena ; Gaudias, Julien ; Chaumont, Jospeh ; SALZBERG, MICHAEL ; O'BRIEN, TERENCE ; Pinault, Didier ( 2009)