Thyroid hormones: Possible roles in epilepsy pathology
Seyedeh Masoumeh Seyedhoseini Tamijani
Raymond Azman Ali
Norlinah Mohamed Ibrahim
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© 2015 British Epilepsy Association. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Thyroid hormones (THs) l-thyroxine and l-triiodothyronine, primarily known as metabolism regulators, are tyrosine-derived hormones produced by the thyroid gland. They play an essential role in normal central nervous system development and physiological function. By binding to nuclear receptors and modulating gene expression, THs influence neuronal migration, differentiation, myelination, synaptogenesis and neurogenesis in developing and adult brains. Any uncorrected THs supply deficiency in early life may result in irreversible neurological and motor deficits. The development and function of GABAergic neurons as well as glutamatergic transmission are also affected by THs. Though the underlying molecular mechanisms still remain unknown, the effects of THs on inhibitory and excitatory neurons may affect brain seizure activity. The enduring predisposition of the brain to generate epileptic seizures leads to a complex chronic brain disorder known as epilepsy. Pathologically, epilepsy may be accompanied by mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress and eventually dysregulation of excitatory glutamatergic and inhibitory GABAergic neurotransmission. Based on the latest evidence on the association between THs and epilepsy, we hypothesize that THs abnormalities may contribute to the pathogenesis of epilepsy. We also review gender differences and the presumed underlying mechanisms through which TH abnormalities may affect epilepsy here.