Neuroinflammation and status epilepticus: a narrative review unraveling a complex interplay

Status epilepticus (SE) is a medical emergency resulting from the failure of the mechanisms involved in seizure termination or from the initiation of pathways involved in abnormally prolonged seizures, potentially leading to long-term consequences, including neuronal death and impaired neuronal networks. It can eventually evolve to refractory status epilepticus (RSE), in which the administration of a benzodiazepine and another anti-seizure medications (ASMs) had been ineffective, and super-refractory status epilepticus (SRSE), which persists for more than 24 h after the administration of general anesthesia. Objective of the present review is to highlight the link between inflammation and SE. Several preclinical and clinical studies have shown that neuroinflammation can contribute to seizure onset and recurrence by increasing neuronal excitability. Notably, microglia and astrocytes can promote neuroinflammation and seizure susceptibility. In fact, inflammatory mediators released by glial cells might enhance neuronal excitation and cause drug resistance and seizure recurrence. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of neuroinflammation could be crucial for improving SE treatment, wich is currently mainly addressed with benzodiazepines and eventually phenytoin, valproic acid, or levetiracetam.