Role of inflammation in epilepsy and neurobehavioral comorbidities: Implication for therapy

Yam Nath Paudel, Mohd Farooq Shaikh, Sadia Shah, Yatinesh Kumari, Iekhsan Othman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

98 Citations (Scopus)


Epilepsy is a devastating condition affecting around 70 million people worldwide. Moreover, the quality of life of people with epilepsy (PWE) is worsened by a series of comorbidities. The neurobehavioral comorbidities discussed herein share a reciprocal and complex relationship with epilepsy, which ultimately complicates the treatment process in PWE. Understanding the mechanistic pathway by which these comorbidities are associated with epilepsy might be instrumental in developing therapeutic interventions. Inflammatory cytokine signaling in the brain regulates important brain functions including neurotransmitter metabolism, neuroendocrine function, synaptic plasticity, dopaminergic transmission, the kynurenine pathway, and affects neurogenesis as well as the neural circuitry of moods. In this review, we hypothesize that the complex relationship between epilepsy and its related comorbidities (cognitive impairment, depression, anxiety, autism, and schizophrenia) can be unraveled through the inflammatory mechanism that plays a prominent role in all these individual conditions. An ample amount of evidence is available reporting the role of inflammation in epilepsy and all individual comorbid condition but their complex relationship with epilepsy has not yet been explored through the prospective of inflammatory pathway. Our review suggests that epilepsy and its neurobehavioral comorbidities are associated with elevated levels of several key inflammatory markers. This review also sheds light on the mechanistic association between epilepsy and its neurobehavioral comorbidities. Moreover, we analyzed several anti-inflammatory therapies available for epilepsy and its neurobehavioral comorbidities. We suggest, these anti-inflammatory therapies might be a possible intervention and could be a promising strategy for preventing epileptogenesis and its related neurobehavioral comorbidities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-155
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2018


  • Anxiety
  • Cognitive decline
  • Comorbidities
  • Depression
  • Epilepsy
  • Inflammation

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