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Abstract  Our current knowledge of the role of astrocytes in health and disease states supports the view that many physiological brain functions and neurological diseases are finely tuned, and in certain cases fully determined, by the continuous cross-talk between astrocytes and neurons. This novel way of interpreting brain activity as a dynamic and reciprocal interplay between astrocytic and neuronal networks has also influenced our understanding of epilepsy, not only forcing a reinterpretation of old findings, but also being a catalyst for novel experimentation. In this review, we summarize some of the recent studies that highlight these novel distinct contributions of astrocytes to the expression of convulsive and non-convulsive epileptiform discharges and seizures. The emerging picture suggests a general framework based on bilateral signalling between astrocytes and neurons for a fuller understanding of epileptogenic and epileptic mechanisms in the brain network. Astrocytes potentially represent targets for the development of those novel chemical entities with improved efficacy for the treatment of convulsive and non-convulsive epilepsy that expert groups have recognized as one of the key priorities for the management of epilepsy.