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PLoS One. 2013 Nov 19;8(11):e80972. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0080972. eCollection 2013.

Widespread EEG changes precede focal seizures.

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1
Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Abstract

The process by which the brain transitions into an epileptic seizure is unknown. In this study, we investigated whether the transition to seizure is associated with changes in brain dynamics detectable in the wideband EEG, and whether differences exist across underlying pathologies. Depth electrode ictal EEG recordings from 40 consecutive patients with pharmacoresistant lesional focal epilepsy were low-pass filtered at 500 Hz and sampled at 2,000 Hz. Predefined EEG sections were selected immediately before (immediate preictal), and 30 seconds before the earliest EEG sign suggestive of seizure activity (baseline). Spectral analysis, visual inspection and discrete wavelet transform were used to detect standard (delta, theta, alpha, beta and gamma) and high-frequency bands (ripples and fast ripples). At the group level, each EEG frequency band activity increased significantly from baseline to the immediate preictal section, mostly in a progressive manner and independently of any modification in the state of vigilance. Preictal increases in each frequency band activity were widespread, being observed in the seizure-onset zone and lesional tissue, as well as in remote regions. These changes occurred in all the investigated pathologies (mesial temporal atrophy/sclerosis, local/regional cortical atrophy, and malformations of cortical development), but were more pronounced in mesial temporal atrophy/sclerosis. Our findings indicate that a brain state change with distinctive features, in the form of unidirectional changes across the entire EEG bandwidth, occurs immediately prior to seizure onset. We postulate that these changes might reflect a facilitating state of the brain which enables a susceptible region to generate seizures.

PMID:
24260523
PMCID:
PMC3834227
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0080972
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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