[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To demonstrate altered N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor availability in patients with focal epilepsies using positron emission tomography (PET) and [(18)F]GE-179, a ligand that selectively binds to the open NMDA receptor ion channel, which is thought to be overactive in epilepsy.
Eleven patients (median age 33 years, 6 males) with known frequent interictal epileptiform discharges had an [(18)F]GE-179 PET scan, in a cross-sectional study. MRI showed a focal lesion but discordant EEG changes in two, was non-localising with multifocal EEG abnormalities in two, and was normal in the remaining seven patients who all had multifocal EEG changes. Individual patient [(18)F]GE-179 volume-of-distribution (VT) images were compared between individual patients and a group of 10 healthy controls (47 years, 7 males) using Statistical Parametric Mapping.
Individual analyses revealed a single cluster of focal VT increase in four patients; one with a single and one with multifocal MRI lesions, and two with normal MRIs. Post hoc analysis revealed that, relative to controls, patients not taking antidepressants had globally increased [(18)F]GE-179 VT (+28%; p<0.002), and the three patients taking an antidepressant drug had globally reduced [(18)F]GE-179 VT (-29%; p<0.002). There were no focal abnormalities common to the epilepsy group.
In patients with focal epilepsies, we detected primarily global increases of [(18)F]GE-179 VT consistent with increased NMDA channel activation, but reduced availability in those taking antidepressant drugs, consistent with a possible mode of action of this class of drugs. [(18)F]GE-179 PET showed focal accentuations of NMDA binding in 4 out of 11 patients, with difficult to localise and treat focal epilepsy.
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Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Qualitatively, FLAIR MR imaging is sensitive to the detection of hippocampal sclerosis (HS). Quantitative analysis of T2 maps provides a useful objective measure and increased sensitivity over visual inspection of T2-weighted scans. We aimed to determine whether quantification of normalised FLAIR is as sensitive as T2 mapping in detection of HS.
Dual echo T2 and FLAIR MR images were retrospectively analysed in 27 patients with histologically confirmed HS and increased T2 signal in ipsilateral hippocampus and 14 healthy controls. Regions of interest were manually segmented in all hippocampi aiming to avoid inclusion of CSF. Hippocampal T2 values and measures of normalised FLAIR Signal Intensity (nFSI) were compared in healthy and sclerotic hippocampi.
HS was identified on T2 values with 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity. HS was identified on nFSI measures with 60% sensitivity and 93% specificity.
T2 mapping is superior to nFSI for identification of HS.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Clinical neuroimaging
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) due to hippocampal sclerosis reorganisation in the memory encoding network has been consistently described. Distinct areas of reorganisation have been shown to be efficient when associated with successful subsequent memory formation or inefficient when not associated with successful subsequent memory. We investigated the effect of clinical parameters that modulate memory functions: age at onset of epilepsy, epilepsy duration and seizure frequency in a large cohort of patients.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Epilepsy Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Neuronal networks involved in seizure generation, maintenance and spread of epileptic activity comprise cortico-subcortical circuits. Although epileptic foci vary in location across focal epilepsy syndromes, there is evidence for common structures in the epileptogenic networks. We recently reported evidence from functional neuroimaging for a unique area in the piriform cortex, common to focal epilepsies in humans, which might play a role in modulating seizure activity. In this study, we aimed to identify common areas of structural abnormalities in patients with frontal lobe epilepsy (FLE).
T1-weighted MRI scans of 43 FLE patients and 25 healthy controls were analysed using voxel based morphometry. Differences in regional grey matter volume were examined across the whole brain, and correlated with age at epilepsy onset, duration and frequency of seizures.
We detected areas of increased grey matter volume in the piriform cortex, amygdala and parahippocampal gyrus bilaterally, as well as left mid temporal gyrus of patients relative to controls, which did not correlate with any of the clinical variables tested. No common areas of atrophy were detected across the FLE group.
Structural abnormalities within the piriform cortex and adjacent structures of patients with FLE provide further evidence for the involvement of this area in the epileptogenic network of focal epilepsies. Lack of correlation with duration or age of onset of epilepsy suggests that this area of abnormality is not a consequence of seizure activity.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Epilepsy research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective Reduced deactivation within the default mode network (DMN) is common in individuals with primary affective disorders relative to healthy volunteers (HVs). It is unknown whether similar network abnormalities are present in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) patients with a history of affective psychopathology.
Methods 17 TLE patients with a lifetime affective diagnosis, 31 TLE patients with no formal psychiatric history and 30 HVs were included. We used a visuo-spatial ‘n-back’ paradigm to compare working memory (WM) network activation between these groups. Post hoc analyses included voxel-based morphometry and diffusion tensor imaging. The Beck Depression Inventory-Fast Screen and Beck Anxiety Inventory were completed on the day of scanning.
Findings Each group activated the fronto-parietal WM networks and deactivated the typical DMN in response to increasing task demands. Group comparison revealed that TLE patients with lifetime affective morbidity showed significantly greater deactivation in subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sACC) than either the TLE-only or the HVs (p<0.001). This effect persisted after covarying for current psychotropic medication and severity of current depressive/anxiety symptoms (all p<0.001). Correlational analysis revealed that this finding was not driven by differences in task performance. There were no significant differences in grey matter volume or structural connectivity between the TLE groups.
Conclusions Our results provide novel evidence suggesting that affective psychopathology in TLE has a neurobiological correlate, and in this context the sACC performs differently compared with network activity in primary affective disorders.
Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Working memory is a critical building block for almost all cognitive tasks, and impairment can cause significant disruption to daily life routines. We investigated the functional connectivity (FC) of the visuo-spatial working memory network in temporal lobe epilepsy and its relationship to the underlying white matter tracts emanating from the hippocampus. Fifty-two patients with unilateral hippocampal sclerosis (HS) (30 left) and 30 healthy controls underwent working memory functional MRI (fMRI) and Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI). Six seed regions were identified for FC analysis; 4 within a task-positive network (left and right middle frontal gyri and superior parietal lobes), and 2 within a task-negative network (left and right hippocampi). FC maps were created by extracting the time-series of the fMRI signal in each region in each subject and were used as regressors of interest for additional GLM fMRI analyses. Structural connectivity (SC) corresponding to areas to which the left and right hippocampi were connected was determined using tractography, and a mean FA for each hippocampal SC map was calculated. Both left and right HS groups showed atypical FC between task-positive and task-negative networks compared to controls. This was characterised by co-activation of the task-positive superior parietal lobe ipsilateral to the typically task-negative sclerosed hippocampus. Correlational analysis revealed stronger FC between superior parietal lobe and ipsilateral hippocampus, was associated with worse performance in each patient group. The SC of the hippocampus was associated with the intra-hemispheric FC of the superior parietal lobe, in that greater SC was associated with weaker parieto-frontal FC. The findings suggest that the segregation of the task-positive and task-negative FC networks supporting working memory in TLE is disrupted, and is associated with abnormal structural connectivity of the sclerosed hippocampus. Co-activation of parieto-temporal regions was associated with poorer working memory and this may be associated with working memory dysfunction in TLE.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · Clinical neuroimaging
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The increasing demand for clinical fMRI data has resulted in a need to translate research methods to clinical use. Referrals for language lateralization prior to epilepsy surgery are becoming more common, but time constraints make this unachievable in many busy neuroimaging departments. This study examines whether a single covert verbal fluency paradigm with real-time monitoring and online processing (BrainWave) could replace conventional offline processing (SPM) for the purpose of establishing expressive language dominance prior to epilepsy surgery. We analyzed language fMRI results of 30 patients (17 female; 24 right-handed; median age: 30.5) with temporal lobe epilepsy. Concordance between visual assessment of SPM and BrainWave was 92.8%. Lateralization indices correlated closely with visual assessments of lateralization with a concordance of 85.7%. BrainWave provided a real-time, fast and accurate display of language lateralization easily applied in a clinical setting using only online image processing.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) is characterized by myoclonic jerks of the upper limbs, often triggered by cognitive stressors. Here we aim to reconcile this particular seizure phenotype with the known frontal lobe type neuropsychological profile, photosensitivity, hyperexcitable motor cortex, and recent advanced imaging studies that identified abnormal functional connectivity of the motor cortex and supplementary motor area (SMA).
We acquired fMRI and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in a cohort of 29 patients with JME and 28 healthy control subjects. We used fMRI to determine functional connectivity and DTI-based region parcellation and voxel-wise comparison of probabilistic tractography data to assess the structural connectivity profiles of the mesial frontal lobe.
Patients with JME showed alterations of mesial frontal connectivity with increased structural connectivity between the prefrontal cognitive cortex and motor cortex. We found a positive correlation between DTI and fMRI-based measures of structural and functional connectivity: the greater the structural connectivity between these 2 regions, the greater the observed functional connectivity of corresponding areas. Furthermore, connectivity was reduced between prefrontal and frontopolar regions and increased between the occipital cortex and the SMA.
The observed alterations in microstructural connectivity of the mesial frontal region may represent the anatomic basis for cognitive triggering of motor seizures in JME. Changes in the mesial frontal connectivity profile provide an explanatory framework for several other clinical observations in JME and may be the link between seizure semiology, neurophysiology, neuropsychology, and imaging findings in JME.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To improve the sensitivity and specificity of simultaneous electroencephalography and functional magnetic resonance imaging (EEG-fMRI) it is prudent to devise modelling strategies explaining the residual variance. The purpose of this study is to investigate the potential value of including additional regressors for physiological activities, derived from video-EEG, in the modelling of haemodynamic patterns linked to interictal epileptiform discharges (IEDs) using simultaneously recorded video-EEG-fMRI.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose The contribution of the frontal lobes to memory encoding has been recently appreciated. Functional MRI (fMRI) studies have demonstrated material specific prefrontal cortex (PFC) activations with verbal and non-verbal memory tasks on the left and right respectively in healthy individuals. We investigated the patterns of PFC activations in memory encoding for both verbal and non-verbal episodic memory in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (TLE) patients using fMRI.
Methods 27 healthy controls and 42 patients with hippocampal sclerosis (21 Right) were scanned on a 3T MRI scanner. An fMRI paradigm of memory encoding of faces and words was employed. fMRI analysis was performed with SPM8.
Results Word encoding: controls and right HS patients activated the left PFC. Patients with left HS showed bilateral HC activations and significant additional right PFC activations greater than in controls and the right HS group p<0.005. Face encoding: controls and LHS patients showed right lateralised PFC activation. Patients with right HS showed bilateral PFC activations. Significantly greater left PFC activation was seen in the right HS group compared to the left HS group (p<0.005).
Conclusion We showed material specific PFC lateralisation in healthy controls as previously described. Patients with HS ipsilateral to side of material encoding showed additional contralateral PFC activations, implying reorganisation of the underlying network to involve the contralateral frontal lobes.
No preview · Article · Feb 2012 · Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It has traditionally been held that the hippocampus is not part of the neural substrate of working memory (WM), and that WM is preserved in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (TLE). Recent imaging and neuropsychological data suggest this view may need revision. The aim of this study was to investigate the neural correlates of WM in TLE using functional MRI (fMRI). We used a visuo-spatial 'n-back' paradigm to compare WM network activity in 38 unilateral hippocampal sclerosis (HS) patients (19 left) and 15 healthy controls. WM performance was impaired in both left and right HS groups compared to controls. The TLE groups showed reduced right superior parietal lobe activity during single- and multiple-item WM. No significant hippocampal activation was found during the active task in any group, but the hippocampi progressively deactivated as the task demand increased. This effect was bilateral for controls, whereas the TLE patients showed progressive unilateral deactivation only contralateral to the side of the hippocampal sclerosis and seizure focus. Progressive deactivation of the posterior medial temporal lobe was associated with better performance in all groups. Our results suggest that WM is impaired in unilateral HS and the underlying neural correlates of WM are disrupted. Our findings suggest that hippocampal activity is progressively suppressed as the WM load increases, with maintenance of good performance. Implications for understanding the role of the hippocampus in WM are discussed.