08 April 2015
Vol 7, Issue 282

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

ONLINE COVER A Deadly Wave. A tsunami-like wave of depolarization that sweeps through the brain after a seizure can trigger a much-feared, fatal aftermath. This so-called "sudden unexplained death in epilepsy" or SUDEP is the most common cause of death in people with epilepsy. The seizure-induced traveling brain wave shuts down the centers that control breathing and heartbeat, producing lethal cardiorespiratory arrest. Aiba et al. show that the tendency for the epileptic brain to generate these waves is genetically controlled, paving the way for identification and treatment of patients at risk. [CREDIT: DESIGN PICS INC/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE]