Febrile seizures and cytokines: current understandings Volume 22, issue 4, Décembre 2010


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Inserm, U676, Paris, Université Paris 7, Faculté de médecine Denis-Diderot, Paris, Service de neurologie pédiatrique, Hôpital Robert-Debré, 48, boulevard Sérurier, 75935, Paris cedex 19

Febrile seizures (FS) are the most common etiology of seizure in infants and children. Pathophysiological mechanisms of FS are not clearly understood. The association of several factors are involved in each patient among which one can find an immature brain, increase in body temperature, inflammatory response and genetic factors. The two most important challenges in clinical practice are the recurrence of FS attacks and the development of temporal epilepsy in adulthood. A better understanding of the underlying mechanisms would lead to the identification of therapeutic targets to prevent FS recurrence or to prevent epileptogenesis following prolonged FS. Current understanding of pathophysiological mechanisms has identified inflammation as a key-factor in FS genesis and in epileptogenesis. Here, we discuss the clinical, genetic and experimental data. Currently, IL-1β has been most frequently identified in the underlying mechanisms.