Researchers have long considered the potential roles of electronic synapses and ephaptic interactions in the central nervous system (CNS). They are obvious candidates for producing the synchronization of neuronal populations which characterizes epileptiform discharge. Are these primary mechanisms or do they simply modulate other, more powerful, forces? Can chemical synaptic connectivity alone account for spontaneous, rhythmic, synchronized discharge? Current research into basic mechanisms underlying epileptogenesis provides some interesting observations relevant to these questions.
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