Encyclopedia of Computational Neuroscience

2015 Edition
| Editors: Dieter Jaeger, Ranu Jung

Epilepsy: Abnormal Ion Channels

  • Tara Klassen
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6675-8_739



A major unit in computational multi-scale modeling in epilepsy is the ion channel. Ion channels can be represented in silico by discreet mathematical formulas describing their biophysical properties while detecting and responding to a stimulus. The stimulus causes the channel protein to undergo a series of three-dimensional conformation changes which opens or closes the channel which regulates ion flow through the transmembrane pore formed by alpha-helix polypeptide subunits.

Detailed Description

Ion Channel Function

Fundamentally, an ion channel acts as an energetically favorable pathway for small charged molecules (ions) to pass through the cell membrane (Hille 1984). Ion channels are integral transmembrane proteins that exist as oligogenic macromolecular complexes including a pore-forming alpha subunit and modulatory and accessory subunits (Sharman et al. 2013; Alexander et al. 2011...

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada