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Epilepsia. 2007;48 Suppl 4:37-46.

EEG monitoring during functional MRI in animal models.

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Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.


Despite its excellent temporal resolution, electroencephalogram (EEG) has poor spatial resolution to study the participation of different brain areas in epileptic discharges, and the propagation of seizures to subcortical areas is not revealed. Furthermore, EEG provides no information about metabolic changes that occur in the brain before and during the epileptic discharges. Thus, monitoring variations in blood flow and oxygenation in response to epileptic discharges can provide additional complementary information. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technology can be used to study the hemodynamic changes associated with interictal epileptiform discharges or epileptic seizures (i.e., before, during or after them) in experimental animal models and may noninvasively monitor these changes over time. Blood oxygenation level-dependent fMRI has superior spatial resolution compared with other functional imaging modalities and utilizes changes in local magnetic field properties to measure the amount of deoxyhemoglobin in each brain areas as an indicator of brain activity. Simultaneous recording of EEG and fMRI is required to achieve this objective. This article describes methods of acquiring and monitoring EEG during fMRI studies in experimental animals. Particular attention will be paid to methods used to eliminate artifacts induced in the acquired magnetic resonance images by EEG equipment and MR-related artifacts in EEG recordings.

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