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AES 2022 | Stress and the HPA axis in epilepsy

Jay A. Salpekar, MD, FAES, Kennedy Krieger Institute, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, talks on dysfunction in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis associated with epilepsy. Stress is a common trigger in persons with epilepsy and the HPA axis is responsible for mediating the body’s physiological response to stress. It is thought that chronic stress can lead to HPA axis hyperactivity, which has negative repercussions on the structure and function of the temporal lobe. This may increase susceptibility to seizures and psychiatric comorbidities. Seizures themselves can cause additional damage to the temporal lobe, further disinhibiting the HPA axis and fueling a feedback cycle. Dr Salpekar comments on the importance of stress management to improve seizure control and stress-related psychiatric comorbidities. This interview took place at the American Epilepsy Society (AES) Annual Meeting 2022 in Nashville, TN.

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