Inflammatory and neurotrophic plasma biomarkers in epilepsy


  • Plasma soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor 2 (sTNFr2) was able to distinguish patients with epilepsy from healthy controls and was associated with seizure frequency. Plasma sTNFr2 is potentially a useful clinical biomarker of epilepsy and seizure burden.

Why this matters

  • Although epilepsy is not a traditional inflammatory condition, inflammatory mechanisms have been implicated in the pathogenesis of epileptogenesis, seizure recurrence, and status epilepticus.

  • Clinical studies have identified a range of elevated inflammatory markers in the brain, plasma, and cerebrospinal fluid of patients with epilepsy. However, results are conflicting, and studies have been limited by low sample size.

  • Cytokines of interest in epilepsy include those involved in the innate immunity or proinflammatory activity, the anti-inflammatory response, and the immune responses of T-helper cells, as well as neurotrophic factors. Investigation of inflammatory markers could reveal useful clinical biomarkers for determining epilepsy etiology or seizure frequency.