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Neuroimage. 2012 Sep;62(3):1634-42. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.05.053. Epub 2012 May 24.

Dynamic Causal Modelling of epileptic seizure propagation pathways: a combined EEG-fMRI study.

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  • 1Department of Bioengineering, Instituto Superior Técnico, Technical University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal.


Simultaneous EEG-fMRI offers the possibility of non-invasively studying the spatiotemporal dynamics of epileptic activity propagation from the focus towards an extended brain network, through the identification of the haemodynamic correlates of ictal electrical discharges. In epilepsy associated with hypothalamic hamartomas (HH), seizures are known to originate in the HH but different propagation pathways have been proposed. Here, Dynamic Causal Modelling (DCM) was employed to estimate the seizure propagation pathway from fMRI data recorded in a HH patient, by testing a set of clinically plausible network connectivity models of discharge propagation. The model consistent with early propagation from the HH to the temporal-occipital lobe followed by the frontal lobe was selected as the most likely model to explain the data. Our results demonstrate the applicability of DCM to investigate patient-specific effective connectivity in epileptic networks identified with EEG-fMRI. In this way, it is possible to study the propagation pathway of seizure activity, which has potentially great impact in the decision of the surgical approach for epilepsy treatment.

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