1. Cortical adj. Of or having to do with the cortex, especially of the brain or kidneys.
2. Cortex n. The layer of gray matter that covers most of the surface of the brain.
3. Dysplasia n. Abnormal development or growth of tissues, organs, or other structures.
Cortical dysplasia is a benign tumor which occurs when the infant brain is developing in the womb, occasionally the neurons will develop larger than normal in certain areas. This causes the signals sent through the neurons in these areas to miss-fire, or to send an incorrect signal. It is commonly found near the motor skills, or vocal regions of the brain, and is associated with seizures. “Two hypotheses are associated with cortical dysplasia, a frequent cause of medically intractable focal epilepsy. The first suggests that epileptogenesis results from a change in the synaptic properties of interneurons. The second suggests abnormal intrinsic properties in the neurons, such as a mutation in the ion channel.” Instead of using medication to suppress the seizures, surgery is quickly becoming a popular solution for the problem.
Thorndike Barnhart World Book Dictionary.
Zachary T. Levine MD, Neurological Surgery
The Cleveland Clinic Foundation: http://www.clevelandclinicmeded.com/diseasemanagement/neurology/epilepsy/epilepsy1.pdf