Send to

Choose Destination
Hum Brain Mapp. 2017 Feb;38(2):753-766. doi: 10.1002/hbm.23415. Epub 2016 Sep 28.

Hippocampus-associated causal network of structural covariance measuring structural damage progression in temporal lobe epilepsy.

Author information

Department of Medical Imaging, Jinling Hospital, Nanjing University School of Medicine, Nanjing, 210002, China.
State Key Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry for Life Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing, 210093, China.
Center for Cognition and Brain Disorders, Affiliated Hospital of Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou, 310015, China.
Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Neuroscience and Behavioral Disorder Program, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore.
Department of Neurosurgery, Jinling Hospital, Nanjing University School of Medicine, Nanjing, 210002, China.
Department of Neurology, Jinling Hospital, Nanjing University School of Medicine, Nanjing, 210002, China.
Faculty of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Sciences, KU Leuven, Belgium.


In mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (mTLE), the causal relationship of morphometric alterations between hippocampus and the other regions, that is, how the hippocampal atrophy leads to progressive morphometric alterations in the epileptic network regions remains largely unclear. In this study, a causal network of structural covariance (CaSCN) was proposed to map the causal effects of hippocampal atrophy on the network-based morphometric alterations in mTLE. It was hypothesized that if cross-sectional morphometric MRI data could be attributed temporal information, for example, by sequencing the data according to disease progression information, GCA would be a feasible approach for constructing a CaSCN. Based on a large cohort of mTLE patients (n = 108), the hippocampus-associated CaSCN revealed that the hippocampus and the thalamus were prominent nodes exerting causal effects (i.e., GM reduction) on other regions and that the prefrontal cortex and cerebellum were prominent nodes being subject to causal effects. Intriguingly, compensatory increased gray matter volume in the contralateral temporal region and post cingulate cortex were also detected. The method unraveled richer information for mapping network atrophy in mTLE relative to the traditional methods of stage-specific comparisons and structured covariance network. This study provided new evidence on the network spread mechanism in terms of the causal influence of hippocampal atrophy on progressive brain structural alterations in mTLE. Hum Brain Mapp 38:753-766, 2017.


granger causality analysis; morphometric MRI; network of structural covariance; progression; temporal lobe epilepsy

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center