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Brain. 2006 Jul;129(Pt 7):1917-28. Epub 2006 Jun 7.

The role of corticothalamic coupling in human temporal lobe epilepsy.

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Service de Neurophysiologie Clinique, Unité Epilepsy and Cognition INSERM U751, CHU TIMONE et Université de la Méditerranée, Marseille, France.


The EEG activity of the thalamus and temporal lobe structures (hippocampus, entorhinal cortex and neocortex) was obtained using intracerebral recordings (stereoelectroencephalography, SEEG) performed in patients with TLE seizures undergoing pre-surgical evaluation. Synchrony was studied using a statistical measure of SEEG signal interdependencies (non-linear correlation). The results demonstrated an overall increase of synchrony between the thalamus and temporal lobe structures during seizures. Moreover, although there was great inter-individual variability, we found that values from seizure onset period were significantly higher than values from the background period (P = 0.001). Values at the end of seizure were significantly higher than values from the seizure onset (P < 0.0001). Several indices were also defined in order to correlate some clinical features to the degree of coupling between cortical structures and the thalamus. In patients with mesial TLE seizures, a correlation was found between the degree of thalamocortical synchrony and the presence of an early loss of consciousness but not with other clinical parameters. In addition, surgical prognosis seemed better in patients with low values of thalamocortical couplings at the seizure onset. This report demonstrates that the thalamus and remote cortical structures synchronize their activity during TLE seizures and suggest that the extension of the epileptogenic network to the thalamus is a potential important factor determining surgical prognosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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