The pathophysiology leading to the development of status epilepticus (SE) remains a topic of significant scientific interest and clinical relevance. The use of multiple experimental and computational models has shown that SE relies on a complex interaction between mechanisms that operate at both a cellular and network level. In this narrative review, we will summarise the current knowledge on the factors that play a key role in allowing SE to develop and persist. These include pathological adaptations to changing ion dynamics, neuroenergetics, receptor expression and neurotransmission, which enable the brain to meet the extensive demands required to maintain ongoing synchronous hyperexcitability. We will examine how these processes converge to enable synapses to support seizure perpetuation. Lastly, we will use the concept of a perpetuating network to highlight how connections between brain regions can provide positive feedback loops that can serve to propagate seizure activity. We hope this review will collate the findings of previous research and help fuel further studies into the mechanisms that underlie how the brain can make the transition to SE.
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Ion dynamics, Neuroenergetics, Neurotransmission, Status epilepticus