admin May 8, 2019

Background: We compared resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) among limbic and temporal lobe regions between patients with medial temporal lobe epilepsy (mTLE) and healthy control subjects to identify imaging evidence of functional networks related to seizure frequency, age of seizure onset, and duration of epilepsy. Methods: Twelve patients with drug-resistant, unilateral medial temporal lobe epilepsy and twelve healthy control subjects matched for age, sex, and handedness participated in the imaging experiments. We used network-based statistics to compare functional connectivity graphs in patients with mTLE and healthy controls to investigate the relationship between functional connectivity abnormalites and seizure frequency. Results: Among mTLE patients, we found functional network abnormalities throughout the limbic system, but primarily in the hemisphere ipsilateral to the seizure focus. The RSFCs between ipsilateral hypothalamus and ventral anterior cingulate cortex and between ipsilateral subiculum and contralateral posterior cingulate cortex were highly correlated with seizure frequency. Discussion: These findings suggest that in mTLE, changes in limbic networks ipsilateral to the epileptic focus are common. The pathological changes in connectivity between cingulate cortex, hypothalamus and subiculum ipsilateral to the seizure focus were correlated with increased seizure frequency. This also suggests that cingulate and limbic networks are progressively impacted by increased frequency of seizures, and could even play a central role in the progression of epilepsy.

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