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Hum Brain Mapp. 2015 Oct;36(10):3878-89. doi: 10.1002/hbm.22884. Epub 2015 Jul 14.

Intrinsic brain activity as a diagnostic biomarker in children with benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes.

Zhu Y1,2, Yu Y1,2,3,4,5, Shinkareva SV6, Ji GJ3,4, Wang J3,4, Wang ZJ7, Zang YF3,4, Liao W3,4, Tang YL7.

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Mental Health Education and Counseling Center, Zhejiang University, Zhejiang, China.
School of Public Health, Zhejiang University, Zhejiang, China.
Center for Cognition and Brain Disorders and the Affiliated Hospital, Hangzhou Normal University, Zhejiang, China.
Zhejiang Key Laboratory for Research in Assessment of Cognitive Impairments, Zhejiang, China.
Department of Psychiatry, the Second Affiliated Hospital of Medial College, Zhejiang University, Zhejiang, China.
Department of Psychology, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.
Department of Neurology, the Second Affiliated Hospital of Medial College, Zhejiang University, Zhejiang, China.


Benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BECTS) is often associated with neural circuit dysfunction, particularly during the transient active state characterized by interictal epileptiform discharges (IEDs). Little is known, however, about the functional neural circuit abnormalities in BECTS without IEDs, or if such abnormalities could be used to differentiate BECTS patients without IEDs from healthy controls (HCs) for early diagnosis. To this end, we conducted resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (RS-fMRI) and simultaneous Electroencephalogram (EEG) in children with BECTS (n = 43) and age-matched HC (n = 28). The simultaneous EEG recordings distinguished BECTS with IEDs (n = 20) from without IEDs (n = 23). Intrinsic brain activity was measured in all three groups using the amplitude of low frequency fluctuation at rest. Compared to HC, BECTS patients with IEDs exhibited an intrinsic activity abnormality in the thalamus, suggesting that thalamic dysfunction could contribute to IED emergence while patients without IEDs exhibited intrinsic activity abnormalities in middle frontal gyrus and superior parietal gyrus. Using multivariate pattern classification analysis, we were able to differentiate BECTS without IEDs from HCs with 88.23% accuracy. BECTS without epileptic transients can be distinguished from HC and BECTS with IEDs by unique regional abnormalities in resting brain activity. Both transient abnormalities as reflected by IEDs and chronic abnormalities as reflected by RS-fMRI may contribute to BECTS development and expression. Intrinsic brain activity and multivariate pattern classification techniques are promising tools to diagnose and differentiate BECTS syndromes. Hum Brain Mapp 36:3878-3889, 2015.


EEG-fMRI; benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes; epileptic transients; intrinsic brain activity; multivariate pattern analysis

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