This book has become the primary source of information for both trainees and professionals interested in epilepsy. In fact, childhood-onset epilepsy has finally received its deserved space in a general epilepsy volume. The third edition of this volume is welcome.
In the last few years we have gained new knowledge of epilepsy. For example, in 1998 geneticists identified the two benign familial neonatal convulsion genes on chromosomes 8 and 20 as coding potassium-channel subunits. That year neurophysiologists discovered that these same potassium-channel subunits coassemble the M-channels, a slowly activating channel that causes a delayed membrane hyperpolarization after the action potential. M-channels are of key importance in controlling and regulating repetitive firing in neurons. The investigative antiepileptic drug retigabine causes these channels to open at a more hyperpolarized membrane potential and slows the rate of channel closing and is therefore considered the first of a new class of selective potassium channel antiepileptic drugs. New experience has also been gained with other new antiepileptic drugs, vagal nerve stimulators, and epilepsy surgery, particularly in children.