Summary

Objective

To analyze the conceptual and practical implications of a hodotopic approach in neurosurgery, and to compare the similarities and the differences in neuroplasticity mechanisms between low-grade gliomas and nonlesional epilepsy.

Methods

We review the recent data about the hodotopic organization of the brain connectome, alongside the organization of epileptic networks, and analyze how these two structures interact, suggesting therapeutic prospects. Then we focus on the mechanisms of neuroplasticity involved in glioma natural course and after glioma surgery. Comparing these mechanisms with those in action in an epileptic brain highlights their differences, but more importantly, gives an original perspective to the consequences of surgery on an epileptic brain and what could be expected after pathologic white matter removal.

Results

The organization of the brain connectome and the neuroplasticity is the same in all humans, but different pathologic mechanisms are involved, and specific therapeutic approaches have been developed in epilepsy and glioma surgery. We demonstrate that the “connectome” point of view can enrich epilepsy care. We also underscore how theoretical and practical tools commonly used in epilepsy investigations, such as invasive electroencephalography, can be of great help in awake surgery in general.

Significance

Putting together advances in understanding of connectomics and neuroplasticity, leads to significant conceptual improvements in epilepsy surgery.

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