Interictal brain activity changes in temporal lobe epilepsy: A quantitative electroencephalogram analysis

Objectives

To evaluate the usefulness of quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG) in the analysis of baseline activity in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) and identify measures potentially associated with disease duration and drug resistance.

Materials and Methods

Cross-sectional study of adult patients with TLE and controls who underwent video-EEG monitoring. Representative artifact-free resting wakefulness baseline EEG segments were selected for quantitative analysis. The fast Fourier transform (FFT) approach was used for the power spectral analysis, with computation of FFT power ratios and alpha-delta and alpha-theta ratios for both hemispheres. The resulting measures were compared between TLE patients and controls and their values as predictors of epilepsy duration and drug resistance analyzed.

Results

Thirty-nine TLE patients and 23 controls were included. The TLE patients had a lower alpha-delta ratio in the posterior quadrant ipsilateral to the epileptic focus and a lower alpha-theta ratio in the ipsilateral anterior/posterior quadrants and temporal region. A younger age at onset and longer epilepsy duration correlated with a higher theta power ratio in the contralateral anterior and posterior quadrants and temporal region. No qEEG measures predicted drug resistance.

Conclusions

Quantitative electroencephalography background activity may contribute to the diagnosis of TLE and provide useful information on disease duration. A lower alpha-delta and alpha-theta ratio may be reliable baseline qEEG measures for identifying patients with TLE. A higher contralateral theta power ratio may be indicative of longer epilepsy duration.

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