H.H. Jasper, A.A. Ward, A. Pope and H.H. Merritt, chair of the Public Health Service Advisory Committee on the Epilepsies, National Institutes of Health, published the first volume on Basic Mechanisms of the Epilepsies (BME) in 1969. Their ultimate goal was to search for a "better understanding of the epilepsies and seek more rational methods of their prevention and treatment." Since then, basic and clinical researchers in epilepsy have gathered together every decade and a half with these goals in mind -- assessing where epilepsy research has been, what it has accomplished, and where it should go. In 1999, the third volume of BME was named in honor of H.H. Jasper. In line with the enormous expansion in the understanding of basic epilepsy mechanisms over the past four decades, this fourth edition of Jasper's BME is the most ambitious yet. In 90 chapters, the book considers the role of interactions between neurons, synapses, and glia in the initiation, spread and arrest of seizures. It examines mechanisms of excitability, synchronization, seizure susceptibility, and ultimately epileptogenesis. It provides a framework for expanding the epilepsy genome and understanding the complex heredity responsible for common epilepsies as it explores disease mechanisms of ion channelopathies and developmental epilepsy genes. It considers the mechanisms of conditions of epilepsy comorbidities. And, for the first time, this 4th edition describes the current efforts to translate the discoveries in epilepsy disease mechanisms into new therapeutic strategies. This book, considered the 'bible' of basic epilepsy research, is essential for the student, the clinician scientist and all research scientists who conduct laboratory-based experimental epilepsy research using cellular, brain slice and animal models, as well as for those interested in related disciplines of neuronal oscillations, network plasticity, and signaling in brain strucutres that include the cortex, hippocampus, and thalamus. In keeping with the 1969 goals, the book is now of practical importance to the clinical neurologist and epileptologist as the progress of research in molecular genetics and modern efforts to design antiepileptic drugs, cures and repairs in the epilepsies converge and impact clinical care.