European Journal of Paediatric Neurology vol:9 issue:1 pages:29-42
The concept that the immune system plays a role in the epileptogenic process of some epileptic syndromes was first proposed more than 20 years ago. Since then, numerous studies have reported on the existence of a variety of immunological alterations in epileptic patients, on the observation of favourable responses of refractory epilepsy syndromes to immunomodulatory treatment, and on the association of certain well-known immune-mediated disease states with epilepsy. This review comprehensively recapitulates the currently available evidence supporting or arguing against the possible involvement of the immune system in the pathogenesis of certain types of epilepsy. It is concluded that an abundance of facts is in support of this concept and that further studies should be directed at substantiating the pathogenic significance of (auto)immune responses in certain types of epilepsy. Current progress in the functional and molecular immunological research techniques will indisputably contribute to the elucidation of this link.