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Neurology. 2006 Apr 11;66(7):1049-55.

Widespread and intense BOLD changes during brief focal electrographic seizures.

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  • 1Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.



Combined recording of EEG and fMRI has shown changes in blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signal during focal interictal epileptic spikes. Due to difficult assessment of seizures inside the scanner little is known about BOLD changes during seizures.


To describe BOLD changes related to brief focal electrographic seizures in a patient with right temporo-parietal gray matter nodular heterotopia.


The patient underwent two EEG-fMRI sessions during which several focal seizures were recorded. EEG was acquired continuously during scanning and seizure timing was used for statistical analysis. Functional maps were thresholded to disclose positive (activation) and negative (deactivation) BOLD changes.


Twenty-five focal electrographic seizures were analyzed, consisting of runs of polyspikes lasting 2 to 6 s in the right temporal region. Activation included a large volume, involving the heterotopia and the abnormal temporo-parietal cortex overlying the nodule, with a clear maximum over the angular gyrus. Deactivation was bilateral and maximum in the occipital regions. The hemodynamic response function showed a return to baseline of the BOLD signal 30 s after seizure end.


The brief focal seizures resulted in high amplitude and widespread blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) responses taking 30 s to return to baseline. This suggests that such brief events could have important behavioral consequences despite absent overt manifestations. A clear focal BOLD peak was found at some distance from the main EEG discharge, raising the possibility that the seizure could have started in a region that did not generate a visible EEG change despite its superficial location.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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