Focal cortical dysplasias in temporal lobe epilepsy surgery: Challenge in defining unusual variants according to the last ILAE classification.
Glioneuronal malformations (malformations of cortical development [MCD]) include focal cortical dysplasias (FCD) as well as highly differentiated glioneuronal tumors (i.e. gangliogliomas) and constitute frequent findings in patients with pharmacoresistent focal epilepsies. Tailored resection strategies evolved as promising treatment options and allow a systematic neuropathologic and molecular biologic examination of the epileptogenic area in these patients. The histopathologic appearance and immunophenotype of glioneuronal lesions are, however, characterized by numerous similarities and suggest impaired proliferation, migration, and differentiation of neural precursor cells to play a pathogenetic role. Recent studies point toward molecular alterations within a variety of genes and pathways involved in development of the central nervous system, neuronal growth, and maturation. Compromised signaling within insulin- or reelin-transduction cascades are common findings and were associated with specific MCD entities. Unraveling pathogenic mechanisms may advance refined classification systems for epilepsy-associated malformations and open new avenues for the development of targeted treatment strategies in pharmacoresistent focal epilepsies associated with cortical malformations.