Hyperphosphorylated tau is implicated in acquired epilepsy and neuropsychiatric comorbidities

Ping Zheng, Sandy R. Shultz, Chris M. Hovens, Dennis Velakoulis, Nigel C. Jones, Terence J. O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Epilepsy is a common group of neurological diseases. Acquired epilepsy can be caused by brain insults, such as trauma, infection or tumour, and followed by a latent period from several months to years before the emergence of recurrent spontaneous seizures. More than 50 % of epilepsy cases will develop chronic neurodegenerative, neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric comorbidities. It is important to understand the mechanisms by which a brain insult results in acquired epilepsy and comorbidities in order to identify targets for novel therapeutic interventions that may mitigate these outcomes. Recent studies have implicated the hyperphosphorylated tubulin-associated protein (tau) in rodent models of epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease, and in experimental and clinical studies of traumatic brain injury. This potentially represents a novel target to mitigate epilepsy and associated neurocognitive and psychiatric disorders post-brain injury. This article reviews the potential role of tau-based mechanisms in the pathophysiology of acquired epilepsy and its neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric comorbidities, and the potential to target these for novel disease-modifying treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1532-1539
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular Neurobiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Acquired epilepsy
  • Hyperphosphorylated tau
  • Neuropsychiatric comorbidities
  • Post-status epilepticus
  • Traumatic brain injury

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