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YEBEH-02530; No. of pages: 2; 4C: Epilepsy & Behavior xxx (2011) xxx–xxx

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Epilepsy & Behavior j o u r n a l h o m e p a g e : w w w. e l s ev i e r. c o m / l o c a t e / ye b e h

Book Review Epilepsy: Mechanisms, Models, and Translational Perspectives, Jong M. Rho, Raman Sankar, Carl E. Stafstrom (Eds.), CRC Press, 2010, Color insert, 646 pp, $189.95, ISBN: 978-1-4200-8559-4 Epilepsy: Mechanisms, Models, and Translational Perspectives is a new one-volume book published by CRC Press that aims to highlight and summarize the basic concepts of and translational progress made toward our understanding of the pathophysiology and treatment of epilepsy. The chapters included in this work have been thoughtfully selected by a triad of prominent figures in epilepsy research. Dr. Jong Rho is a senior staff scientist at the Barrow Neurological Institute and St. Joseph's Hospital & Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ, USA, with prominent contributions in the study of metabolic control of seizures and neuropharmacology of antiepileptics. Dr. Raman Sankar is a professor of neurology and pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and an authority on the study and screening of antiepileptic and antiepileptogenic therapies and mechanisms of seizure-induced injury in the developing brain. Dr. Carl Stafstrom is a professor of neurology and pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin Medical School at Madison and renowned not only for his substantial contributions to our understanding of the pathophysiology of epilepsy and its cognitive sequelae during development, as well as the development of alternative epilepsy therapies, but also for his critical review of advancements in the field of epilepsy. Most importantly, they share a common interest in critically translating the benchside advances into clinically relevant interventions to cure epilepsy, and this reflects on the quality of this project. The book is organized into six sections that outline the scientific foundations of the pathophysiology of epilepsies, mechanisms and methods for the development of antiepileptic drugs, advances in epilepsy surgery, alternative therapies, neuroendocrine and circadian modulators of the epileptic state, and futuristic approaches to novel epilepsy therapies. The overall task seems enormous and ambitious for a book that spans only 646 pages. Each section has been exhaustively covered in the past by authoritative reference textbooks on epilepsy, models, and therapies. Yet, the editors succeed in delivering a concise overview of innovative scientific bench discoveries that will be a prime reference for both clinicians and scientists who strive to translate them into better clinical care for our patients with seizures. The editors are internationally acclaimed pediatric epileptologists and educators but also frontrunners in epilepsy research. They are also well known to deliver critical reviews, which guarantees the high quality of this project. The contributing authors are authorities in the field with leading contributions in the individual topics assigned to them. Section 1 presents the scientific foundations of epilepsy research. A concise overview of the basic pathophysiological mechanisms of seizures and epilepsy is followed by more detailed chapters on the more recently introduced concepts, such as the role of the blood–brain barrier, blood flow, and neoplasms; metabolic regulation of seizures and epileptogenesis; the role of brain inflammation; mechanisms conferring drug resistance to antiepileptics; genetics and pathophysiology of developmental epilepsies. Section 2 applies these pathophysiological


concepts to antiepileptic drug therapies, summarizing their mechanisms and interactions, the existing animal models that are used to develop new antiepileptic and disease-modifying therapies, the pharmacogenetics of antiepileptic drug development, neuroprotective strategies, the interplay of epileptogenesis and plasticity using the model of posttraumatic epilepsy, and finally, the nonsynaptic mechanisms of neuronal synchronization. Section 3 targets the advances related to seizure localization, surgical ablation and nonsurgical ablation or deep brain stimulation methods, and completes the cycle by illustrating how epilepsy surgery can succeed in advancing basic science research into the pathophysiological mechanisms of pediatric epilepsies. Section 4 elaborates alternative approaches to treating epilepsy. Section 5 introduces the neuroendocrine and physiological modulators of the epileptic state as well as bridges the pathophysiology of epilepsy and its comorbid neuropsychiatric conditions. Section 6 presents a futuristic vision of what epilepsy therapy can grow to be. Most chapters include several illustrations, tables, diagrams, algorithms, images, and histology pictures to guide the reader through the main concepts. Most of these are black and white, and only selected figures are reproduced within an eight-page color insert. The inclusion of more color images, especially if embedded within the respective chapters, would certainly make the text more appealing and easier to read. However, the current format also provides for a more accessible price of the book, which is a significant advantage over competing textbooks. The references are appropriately selected for these review articles and up-to-date to 2008, which seemingly reflects the year these chapters were finalized. The author–date format allows for faster readout of the book and association of the statements with specific research groups. The strength of the book lies in the concise summary of the recent advances in the field, tackling most aspects of epilepsy research, and the attempt to maintain a focus not only in the science per se but also on its applicability and translation into the clinical world. The careful selection of authors, most of whom are leaders in their respective fields, ensures the quality and success of this task. A weakness of the book is the lack of an electronic edition, whether via a CD format or a Web-based reference resource of the included articles. In the modern era, portability and easy access to information via computerized search is key to fast identification and utilization of the scientific facts sought. There are multiple epilepsy-related textbooks, many of which address similar topics, and many of the selected contributors are also frequent contributors to such projects. What distinguishes this book is the often laconic bench-to-bedside translation of epilepsy research that provides a quick primer to modern advances and directions in the field. Furthermore, the price of the book is lower than that of similar other and more exhaustive references. This is important considering that the younger generation of epilepsy basic science or clinical researchers will find it more accessible and, therefore, will be more likely to use and implement these concepts in their work. However, the broadness of its topic coverage guarantees that even established investigators will certainly find it a useful primer on topics that are more distant to their immediate field of specialization.


Book Review

In summary, I strongly congratulate the editors and authors for producing a book that accomplishes its task of refocusing epilepsy research on its primary directive, translation of scientific discoveries into interventions and methods that directly relate and promise to improve the quality of medical care our patients with seizures receive. Although not exhaustive enough, it will be an invaluable primer for young investigators but also for more senior researchers who aim to create new bridges with aspects of epilepsy research that are more distant from their immediate focus. Conflict of interest statement. I declare that I do not have any conflicts of interest to disclose.

Aristea S. Galanopoulou Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology and Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1410 Pelham Parkway South, Kennedy Center Rm 306, Bronx NY 10461, USA Fax: +1 718 430 8899. E-mail address:

18 December 2010 Available online xxxx

Book Review: Epilepsy: Mechanisms, Models, and Translational Perspectives