Amino acid composition of brain cysts: Levels of excitatory amino acids in cyst fluid fail to predict seizures

Heinz Gregor Wieser, Uwe Rudolph, Nenad Blau, Detlev Boison, Hans Georg Imhof, René Bernays, Yasuhiro Yonekawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A recent study describing two epileptic patients with brain cysts has suggested that elevated concentrations of excitatory amino acids in cysts may play a role in induction and maintenance of epileptogenesis [Epilepsy Res. 28 (1997) 245]. Here, we report that only in 3 out of 22 patients with brain cysts undergoing brain surgery cyst fluids displayed highly increased amounts of the excitatory amino acids aspartate and/or glutamate. Two of these patients experienced epileptic seizures prior to neurosurgical intervention. Thus, highly increased excitatory amino acid levels are present only in a subset of patients with brain cysts. Our observation that one patient with highly increased glutamate and aspartate concentrations in the cyst did not display seizures or typical epileptiform potentials in the EEG questions that these excitatory amino acids in the cyst fluid are directly involved in epileptogenicity. This patient displayed an increased level of adenosine in the cyst fluid, which is known to have anticonvulsant properties and might provide protection from seizures. In summary, there is no evidence for a close correlation between excitatory amino acids in brain cysts and the occurrence of seizures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-199
Number of pages9
JournalEpilepsy Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Adenosine
  • Amino acids
  • Aspartate
  • Cyst
  • Glutamate
  • Seizures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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