In select kindreds afflicted with familial idiopathic epilepsy, most individuals suffering seizures also have low levels of the plasma hemoglobin-binding protein, haptoglobin. This hypohaptoglobinemia may be causally associated with a tendency to develop epilepsy. Our experimental results indicate that artificially-induced hypohaptoglobinemia in mice causes retarded clearance of free hemoglobin from the central nervous system, and that such free hemoglobin may engender the peroxidation of brain lipids. We hypothesize that hypohaptoglobinemia, either inherited, or acquired via traumatic processes, may prevent efficient clearance of interstitial hemoglobin from the central nervous system, thereby predisposing these people to encephalic inflammation and the appearance of seizure disorders.

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