Cortical dysplasia is the focal presence or absence of dysplastic areas of the cerebral cortex. Histologically, cortical dysplasias contain large, abnormal neurons in all neuronal layers except the first, with a loss of cortical lamination. Abnormal cells, similar to glia, are present deep in the affected cortical region and in the underlying demyelinated white matter. Cortical dysplasia is a well-known cause of intractable epilepsy, but sometimes, in focal forms limited to specific areas, it is not identified on the initial MRI unless there is a high degree of suspicion in a specific location.
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