Neuropathologic asymmetries in the brain of a patient with a unilateral status epilepticus
Autopsy study of a patient who died after an episode of prolonged unilateral status epilepticus revealed neuronal loss in the hippocampus on the epileptic side, with gliosis confined to the CA1 and CA3 fields. There was loss of the parvalbumin-immunoreactive gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic interneurons in the hippocampus on that side. There was also loss of the normal laminar pattern of substance P staining with increased substance P immunoreactivity in the supragranular plexus on that side. Met-enkephalin immunoreactivity was also increased in the outer molecular layer of the dentate gyrus on the epileptic side. Mossy fibers on the epileptic side stained more strongly with the Hicks' silver stain and with antibodies against glutamate and taurine, but less intensely with antibodies against calbindin. In the contralateral cerebellum, there was Purkinje cell loss, injury to the remaining Purkinje cells, and increased prominence of the Bergmann glia. Our observations show that prolonged unilateral seizure activity can be associated with specific histochemical changes in the human hippocampus.