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Clin Neurophysiol. 2019 Apr;130(4):484-490. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2018.12.007. Epub 2019 Jan 18.

Impaired prefrontal cortex-thalamus pathway in intractable temporal lobe epilepsy with aberrant executive control function: MRI evidence.

Author information

1
Department of Radiology, Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, PR China; Beijing Key Laboratory of Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Brain Informatics, Beijing, PR China; Department of Radiology, Affiliated Hospital of Xuzhou Medical University, Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province, PR China.
2
Department of Radiology, Affiliated 2 Hospital of Xuzhou Medical University, Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province, PR China.
3
Department of Radiology, Affiliated Hospital of Xuzhou Medical University, Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province, PR China.
4
Department of Radiology, Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, PR China; Beijing Key Laboratory of Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Brain Informatics, Beijing, PR China.
5
Department of Functional Neurosurgery, Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, PR China.
6
Department of Radiology, Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, PR China; Beijing Key Laboratory of Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Brain Informatics, Beijing, PR China. Electronic address: chenzen8057@xwhosp.org.
7
Department of Radiology, Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, PR China; Beijing Key Laboratory of Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Brain Informatics, Beijing, PR China. Electronic address: likuncheng@xwhosp.org.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study aimed to assess structural and functional connectivity alterations of the prefrontal cortex (PFC)-thalamus axis in individuals with unilateral intractable temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) showing executive control function (ECF) impairment and to explore the potential mechanism.

METHODS:

Thirty-eight individuals with intractable left TLE and twenty-nine healthy controls (HCs) were recruited for diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and resting-state fMRI (rs-fMRI) scanning. According to the ECF state, patients were assigned to normal and impaired ECF groups. Functional connectivity (FC) and probabilistic diffusion tractography of the PFC- thalamus pathway were assessed. The general linear model (GLM) was employed for comparing fiber number (FN) and FC between groups. Pearson correlation analysis of FC, FN and ECF test scores was performed.

RESULTS:

FC and FN of left DLPFC-thalamus pathway were significantly increased in the impaired ECF group compared with the normal ECF and HC groups. However, FC and FN were not correlated with ECF score.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings indicated increased connectivity between DLPFC and the ipsilateral thalamus might reflect nonfunctional nerve remodeling along the seizure pathway.

SIGNIFICANCE:

The present findings suggest that the DLPFC-thalamus pathway may be an important structure for exploring the mechanisms of TLE with ECF dysfunction.

KEYWORDS:

Executive control function; Functional connectivity; Magnetic resonance imaging; Temporal lobe epilepsy

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