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J Child Neurol. 2000 Jun;15(6):370-9.

Magnetoencephalographic study of giant somatosensory evoked responses in patients with rolandic epilepsy.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Tokyo, Japan.


We report five patients with rolandic epilepsy associated with giant somatosensory responses to median nerve stimulation, in whom we analyzed the pathophysiologic relationship between rolandic discharges and the somatosensory responses using magnetoencephalography. Four of the five patients showed giant P30m, the current source of which was localized in the primary somatosensory cortex, while the first cortical response, N20m, was not enhanced, except in one patient. The current source of the giant middle-latency component, N70m, was localized posterior to that of N20m, possibly in the posterior parietal cortex, in all patients. The initial positive peak and large negative peak of rolandic discharges were identical to P30m and N70m with respect to the current source localization, wave form, topographic pattern, and time relationship in the electroencephalogram and magnetoencephalogram, and somatosensory evoked magnetic field and somatosensory evoked potential records, respectively. In addition, the secondary sensory cortex was considered to be the generator of the middle-latency component in one patient. In one patient, the current intensity of the N70m was normalized along with clinical improvement and the disappearance of rolandic discharges, whereas those of other somatosensory evoked magnetic field components remained unchanged. Our data suggest that the rolandic discharge generator mechanism in these patients could be closely related to the developmental alteration of excitability in the primary somatosensory cortex, posterior parietal cortex, and secondary somatosensory cortex, which decreased with age, and it could share a common neuronal pathway, at least in part, with the giant P30m-N70m (N90m) in the somatosensory evoked magnetic field through the sequential and parallel processing of somatosensory information.

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