Circadian/multidien Molecular Oscillations and Rhythmicity of Epilepsy (MORE)



The occurrence of seizures at specific times of the day has been consistently observed for centuries in individuals with epilepsy. Electrophysiological recordings provide evidence that seizures have a higher probability of occurring at a given time during the night and day cycle in individuals with epilepsy here referred to as the seizure rush hour. Which mechanisms underlie such circadian rhythmicity of seizures? Why don’t they occur every day at the same time? Which mechanisms may underlie their occurrence outside the rush hour? In this commentary, I present a hypothesis: MORE – Molecular Oscillations and Rhythmicity of Epilepsy, a conceptual framework to study and understand the mechanisms underlying the circadian rhythmicity of seizures and their probabilistic nature. The core of the hypothesis is the existence of ~24‐hour oscillations of gene and protein expression throughout the body in different cells and organs. The orchestrated molecular oscillations control the rhythmicity of numerous body events, such as feeding and sleep. The concept developed here is that molecular oscillations may favor seizure genesis at preferred times, generating the condition for a seizure rush hour. However, the condition is not sufficient, as other factors are necessary for a seizure to occur. Studying these molecular oscillations may help us understand seizure genesis mechanisms and find new therapeutic targets and predictive biomarkers. The MORE hypothesis can be generalized to comorbidities and the slower multidien (week/month period) rhythmicity of seizures, a phenomenon addressed in another article in this issue of Epilepsia.


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