Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 128, Issue 1, pp 5–19 | Cite as

Epilepsies associated with focal cortical dysplasias (FCDs)

  • Imad M. NajmEmail author
  • Laura Tassi
  • Harvey B. Sarnat
  • Hans Holthausen
  • Giorgio Lo Russo


Focal cortical dysplasias (FCDs) are increasingly recognized as one of the most common causes of pharmaco-resistant epilepsies. FCDs were recently divided into various clinico-pathological subtypes due to distinct imaging, electrophysiological, and outcome characteristics. In this review, we will overview the international consensus classification of FCDs in light of more recently reported clinical, electrical, imaging and functional observations, and will also address areas of ongoing debate. In addition, we will summarize our current knowledge on pathobiology and epileptogenicity of FCDs as well as its underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms. The clinical (electroencephalographic, imaging, and functional) characteristics of major FCD subtypes and their implications on the presurgical evaluation and surgical management will be discussed in light of studies describing these characteristics and postoperative seizure outcomes in patients with medically intractable focal epilepsy due to histopathologically confirmed FCDs.


Focal cortical dysplasia Epilepsy Mechanisms Classification Surgery Outcome 



Imad Najm received funding from the United States Department of Defense and the US National Institutes of Health.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Imad M. Najm
    • 1
    Email author
  • Laura Tassi
    • 2
  • Harvey B. Sarnat
    • 3
  • Hans Holthausen
    • 4
  • Giorgio Lo Russo
    • 2
  1. 1.Epilepsy Center, Neurological InstituteCleveland ClinicClevelandUSA
  2. 2.Epilepsy Surgery Centre CMunariItaly
  3. 3.Department of Paediatrics, Calgary Research InstituteUniversity of Calgary Faculty of Medicine and Alberta Children’s HospitalCalgaryCanada
  4. 4.Neuropediatric Clinic and Clinic for NeurorehabilitationEpilepsy Center for Children and Adolescents, Schoen Klinik VogtareuthVogtareuthGermany

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