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Epilepsy Res. 1998 Aug;31(3):211-30.

Paired pulse suppression and facilitation in human epileptogenic hippocampal formation.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Reed Neurological Research Center, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA 90024, USA.


Paired pulse stimulation has commonly been employed to investigate changes in excitability in epileptic hippocampal tissue employing the in vitro slice preparation. We used paired pulse stimulation in the intact temporal lobe of patients with temporal lobe seizures to compare the excitability of pathways in the epileptogenic hippocampus (located in the temporal lobe in which seizures arise) with those in the non-epileptogenic hippocampus of the contralateral temporal lobe (in the hemisphere to which seizures spread). A total of 20 patients with temporal lobe seizure onsets were studied during chronic depth electrode monitoring for seizure localization. Intracranial in vivo stimulation and recording sites included the hippocampus, entorhinal cortex, subicular cortex and parahippocampal gyrus. A comparison of all hippocampal pathways located in the temporal lobe where seizures typically started (n = 37) with those in temporal lobes contralateral to seizure onset (n = 53) showed significantly greater paired pulse suppression of population post-synaptic potentials on the epileptogenic side (F(1,87) = 6.1, P < 0.01). Similarly, mean paired pulse suppression was significantly greater for epileptogenic perforant path responses than for contralateral perforant path responses (F(1,13) = 7.5, P < 0.01). In contrast, local stimulation activating intrinsic associational pathways of the epileptogenic hippocampus showed decreased paired pulse suppression in comparison to the epileptogenic perforant path. These results may be a functional consequence of the formation of abnormal recurrent inhibitory and recurrent excitatory pathways in the sclerotic hippocampus. Enhanced inhibition may be adaptive in suppressing seizures during interictal periods, while abnormal recurrent excitatory circuits in the presence of enhanced inhibition may drive the hypersynchronization of principal neurons necessary for seizure genesis.

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