Beta-endorphin, somatostatin, and prolactin levels in cerebrospinal fluid of epileptic patients after generalised convulsion.


The possible role of different peptidergic systems in the postictal stage of human epilepsy was studied by measuring beta-endorphin, somatostatin, and prolactin levels by radioimmunoassay of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from nine epileptic patients. The first sample was taken within 2 hours after generalised tonic-clonic convulsion, and the second sample was obtained interictally after 1-4 days without any kind of clinically observable seizures. beta-endorphin was elevated postictally (p = 0.044) compared with interictal levels. SLI and PROL were similar in both samples. The present study suggests that in humans beta-endorphin is released into CSF during generalised seizures. This may indicate that neurons containing beta-endorphin are activated during a seizure.

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