Although epilepsy is defined by recurrent seizures, its comorbid disorders – of attention, sleep mood, and cognition – are highly prevalent and often devastating to patients. Subcortical neuromodulatory networks are chronically impaired in epilepsy, which may contribute to these comorbidities, but a mechanistic link between seizures and chronic network dysfunction is lacking.

  • Are the intrinsic physiologic properties of neuromodulatory neurons altered in epilepsy? Is this exacerbated by recurrent seizures?
  • Does the pathologic hyperactivity in epilepsy trigger activity-dependent changes in neurotransmitter expression within neuromodulatory neurons?
  • What are the circuit-level consequences of the above?

Neuromodulatory networks in epilepsy