Breaking Bad: the Structure and Function of the Blood-Brain Barrier in Epilepsy

Hadas Han, Aniv Mann, Dana Ekstein, Sara Eyal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Epilepsy is a neurological disease with variable etiology and clinical manifestation, affecting more than 50 million people worldwide. Although the ultimate precipitators of seizures are neurons, it is becoming evident that epileptic activity is associated with changes in the function of other cell types, including those consisting the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and regulating its permeability. The interrelationships between impaired BBB function and epilepsy are complex, as BBB dysfunction may both lead to seizures and be induced by epileptic activity. In this article, we review alterations in key BBB properties that have been found in patients with epilepsy and in animal models of the disease. We highlight emerging biomarkers for individualized treatment, implications for pharmacotherapy, and potential BBB-related targets for drug development.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)973-988
Number of pages16
JournalAAPS Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists.


  • antiepileptic drugs
  • blood-brain barrier
  • drug transporters
  • epilepsy
  • status epilepticus


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