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Brain. 2009 Nov;132(Pt 11):3047-59. doi: 10.1093/brain/awp222. Epub 2009 Sep 10.

Spatial characterization of interictal high frequency oscillations in epileptic neocortex.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Interictal high frequency oscillations (HFOs), in particular those with frequency components in excess of 200 Hz, have been proposed as important biomarkers of epileptic cortex as well as the genesis of seizures. We investigated the spatial extent, classification and distribution of HFOs using a dense 4 x 4 mm(2) two dimensional microelectrode array implanted in the neocortex of four patients undergoing epilepsy surgery. The majority (97%) of oscillations detected included fast ripples and were concentrated in relatively few recording sites. While most HFOs were limited to single channels, approximately 10% occurred on a larger spatial scale with simultaneous but morphologically distinct detections in multiple channels. Eighty per cent of these large-scale events were associated with interictal epileptiform discharges. We propose that large-scale HFOs, rather than the more frequent highly focal events, are the substrates of the HFOs detected by clinical depth electrodes. This feature was prominent in three patients but rarely seen in only one patient recorded outside epileptogenic cortex. Additionally, we found that HFOs were commonly associated with widespread interictal epileptiform discharges but not with locally generated 'microdischarges'. Our observations raise the possibility that, rather than being initiators of epileptiform activity, fast ripples may be markers of a secondary local response.

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