Disorders of cortical development form a spectrum of lesions produced by insults to the developing neocortex. These conditions typically first manifest in childhood with epilepsy, developmental delay, and focal neurologic signs. Although the clinical and electrophysiologic findings are often nonspecific, high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging facilitates diagnosis during life, and assists in delineating specific clinical syndromes. While many patients are dysmorphic and severely affected by mental retardation and epilepsy, some have normal or near-normal cognitive function and no seizures. Molecular studies of dysplastic cortex are providing new insights into the basic mechanisms of brain function and development, while pathologic analysis of tissue removed at surgery is helping to define epileptic circuitry. Treatment of the epilepsy associated with cortical dysplasia is often frustrating, but surgical approaches based on accurately defining epileptogenic regions are proving increasingly successful. Genetic diagnosis is important for accurate counseling of families.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Clinical Neurology