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Hum Brain Mapp. 2007 Oct;28(10):1023-32.

Temporal lobe interictal epileptic discharges affect cerebral activity in "default mode" brain regions.

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Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, Institute of Neurology, London, UK.


A cerebral network comprising precuneus, medial frontal, and temporoparietal cortices is less active both during goal-directed behavior and states of reduced consciousness than during conscious rest. We tested the hypothesis that the interictal epileptic discharges affect activity in these brain regions in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy who have complex partial seizures. At the group level, using electroencephalography-correlated functional magnetic resonance imaging in 19 consecutive patients with focal epilepsy, we found common decreases of resting state activity in 9 patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) but not in 10 patients with extra-TLE. We infer that the functional consequences of TLE interictal epileptic discharges are different from those in extra-TLE and affect ongoing brain function. Activity increases were detected in the ipsilateral hippocampus in patients with TLE, and in subthalamic, bilateral superior temporal and medial frontal brain regions in patients with extra-TLE, possibly indicating effects of different interictal epileptic discharge propagation.

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