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Front Neurol. 2013 Mar 1;4:8. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2013.00008. eCollection 2013.

Epileptic neuronal networks: methods of identification and clinical relevance.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, University Hospital Erlangen Erlangen, Bavaria, Germany.

Abstract

The main objective of this paper is to examine evidence for the concept that epileptic activity should be envisaged in terms of functional connectivity and dynamics of neuronal networks. Basic concepts regarding structure and dynamics of neuronal networks are briefly described. Particular attention is given to approaches that are derived, or related, to the concept of causality, as formulated by Granger. Linear and non-linear methodologies aiming at characterizing the dynamics of neuronal networks applied to EEG/MEG and combined EEG/fMRI signals in epilepsy are critically reviewed. The relevance of functional dynamical analysis of neuronal networks with respect to clinical queries in focal cortical dysplasias, temporal lobe epilepsies, and "generalized" epilepsies is emphasized. In the light of the concepts of epileptic neuronal networks, and recent experimental findings, the dichotomic classification in focal and generalized epilepsy is re-evaluated. It is proposed that so-called "generalized epilepsies," such as absence seizures, are actually fast spreading epilepsies, the onset of which can be tracked down to particular neuronal networks using appropriate network analysis. Finally new approaches to delineate epileptogenic networks are discussed.

KEYWORDS:

MEG/EEG; basic concepts; clinical approaches; epileptic networks; neurophysiological classification

PMID:
23532203
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC3607195
Free PMC Article
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