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Hum Brain Mapp. 2019 Nov 13. doi: 10.1002/hbm.24839. [Epub ahead of print]

Hubs disruption in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. A resting-state fMRI study on a language-and-memory network.

Author information

LPNC, CNRS, UMR 5105, University Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France.
Grenoble Institute of Neuroscience, INSERM, Brain Stimulation and System Neuroscience, University Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France.
UMS IRMaGe, Grenoble Hospital, Grenoble, France.
Grenoble Institute of Neuroscience, Synchronisation et Modulation des Réseaux Neuronaux dans l'Epilepsie and Neurology Department, University Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France.


Mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (mTLE) affects the brain networks at several levels and patients suffering from mTLE experience cognitive impairment for language and memory. Considering the importance of language and memory reorganization in this condition, the present study explores changes of the embedded language-and-memory network (LMN) in terms of functional connectivity (FC) at rest, as measured with functional MRI. We also evaluate the cognitive efficiency of the reorganization, that is, whether or not the reorganizations support or allow the maintenance of optimal cognitive functioning despite the seizure-related damage. Data from 37 patients presenting unifocal mTLE were analyzed and compared to 48 healthy volunteers in terms of LMN-FC using two methods: pairwise correlations (region of interest [ROI]-to-ROI) and graph theory. The cognitive efficiency of the LMN-FC reorganization was measured using correlations between FC parameters and language and memory scores. Our findings revealed a large perturbation of the LMN hubs in patients. We observed a hyperconnectivity of limbic areas near the dysfunctional hippocampus and mainly a hypoconnectivity for several cortical regions remote from the dysfunctional hippocampus. The loss of FC was more important in left mTLE (L-mTLE) than in right (R-mTLE) patients. The LMN-FC reorganization may not be always compensatory and not always useful for patients as it may be associated with lower cognitive performance. We discuss the different connectivity patterns obtained and conclude that interpretation of FC changes in relation to neuropsychological scores is important to determine cognitive efficiency, suggesting the concept of "connectome" would gain to be associated with a "cognitome" concept.


brain plasticity; functional connectivity; graph theory; language; memory; mesial temporal lobe epilepsy; resting-state fMRI


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