Objective: Although amygdala abnormalities are sometimes suspected in "imaging-negative" patients with video EEG confirmed unilateral focal epilepsy suggestive of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), amygdala asymmetry is difficult to assess visually. This study examined a group of "imaging-negative" TLE patients, estimating amygdala volumes, to determine whether cryptic amygdala lesions might be detected.
Methods: Review of video EEG monitoring data yielded 11 patients with EEG lateralised TLE and normal structural imaging. Amygdala volumes were estimated in this group, in 77 patients with pathologically verified hippocampal sclerosis (HS), and in 77 controls.
Results: Seven of 11 "imaging-negative" cases had both significant amygdala asymmetry and amygdala enlargement, concordant with seizure lateralisation. Although significant amygdala asymmetry occurred in 35 of 77 HS patients, it was never attributable to an abnormally large ipsilateral amygdala. Compared with patients with HS, patients with amygdala enlargement were less likely to have suffered secondarily generalised seizures (p<0.05), and had an older age of seizure onset (p<0.01).
Conclusion: Abnormal amygdala enlargement is reported in seven cases of "imaging-negative" TLE. Such abnormalities are not observed in patients with HS. It is postulated that amygdala enlargement may be attributable to a developmental abnormality or low grade tumour. It is suggested that amygdala volumetry is indicated in the investigation and diagnosis of "imaging-negative" TLE.
Objective. We review the neuroanatomical aspects of the temporal lobe related to the temporal lobe epilepsy. The neuronal, the ventricular, and the vascular structures are demonstrated. Methods. The previous articles published from the laboratory of the senior author are reviewed. Results. The temporal lobe has four surfaces. The medial surface has a complicated microanatomy showing close relation to the intraventricular structures, such as the amygdala or the hippocampus. There are many white matter bundles in the temporal lobe showing relation to the extra- and intraventricular structures. The surgical approaches commonly performed to treat temporal lobe epilepsy are discussed under the light of these data. Conclusion. A thorough knowledge of the microanatomy is necessary in cortical, subcortical, and intraventricular structures of the temporal lobe to achieve better results.
OBJECTIVES—To assess patterns of postictal
cerebral blood flow in the mesial temporal lobe by coregistration of
postictal 99mTc-HMPAO SPECT with MRI in patients with
confirmed mesial temporal lobe epilepsy.
METHODS—Ten postictal and interictal
99mTc-HMPAO SPECT scans were coregistered with MRI in 10 patients with confirmed mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. Volumetric
tracings of the hippocampus and amygdala from the MRI were superimposed
on the postictal and interictal SPECT. Asymmetries in hippocampal and
amygdala SPECT signal were then calculated using the equation:
% Asymmetry =100 × (right − left) / (right + left)/2.
RESULTS—In the postictal studies, quantitative
measurements of amygdala SPECT intensities were greatest on the side of
seizure onset in all cases, with an average % asymmetry of 11.1, range
5.2-21.9.Hippocampal intensities were greatest on the side of seizure
onset in six studies, with an average % asymmetry of 9.6, range
4.7-12.0.In four scans the hippocampal intensities were less on the
side of seizure onset, with an average % asymmetry of 10.2, range
5.7-15.5.There was no localising quantitative pattern in interictal studies.
CONCLUSIONS—Postictal SPECT shows distinctive
perfusion patterns when coregistered with MRI, which assist in
lateralisation of temporal lobe seizures. Hyperperfusion in the region
of the amygdala is more consistently lateralising than hyperperfusion
in the region of the hippocampus in postictal studies.
To report a case of temporal lobe epilepsy with clinical presentation of paroxysmal episodes of “tightness” over the right hemiface, and ictal crying, and review electroclinical localisation of this phenomenon.
Clinical semiology, neurophysiological localising tests, and epilepsy surgery outcome are reported in a subject presenting with paroxysmal right hemifacial movements and ictal crying. Pertinent past reports of somato‐motor signs and ictal crying in temporal lobe epilepsy are reviewed and the findings correlated with proposed human facial cortical representation.
Simple partial seizures caused by temporal lobe epilepsy presented with right sided tonic facial movements and ictal crying. Intracranial EEG monitoring documented a left medial temporal onset of seizures that remained asymptomatic until they propagated to the left cingulate region. Anterior temporal lobectomy with resection of the amygdala and anterior hippocampus resulted in cessation of seizures.
This is a rare example of epileptic seizures of medial temporal onset presenting with isolated somato‐motor manifestations and ictal crying. Anatomical‐electrical‐clinical correlations with cortical regions controlling facial movements were highly suggestive that this case represents secondary activation of “emotional” motor cortex M3 and M4 (rostral and caudal cingulate motor cortex), giving rise to focal hemifacial movements and ictal crying.
temporal lobe epilepsy; crying; cingulate gyrus
The pathways by which painful stimuli are signaled within the human medial temporal lobe are unknown. Rodent studies have shown that nociceptive inputs are transmitted from the brainstem or thalamus through one of two pathways to the central nucleus of the amygdala. The indirect pathway projects from the basal and lateral nuclei of the amygdala to the central nucleus, while the direct pathway projects directly to the central nucleus. We now test the hypothesis that the human ventral amygdala (putative basal and lateral nuclei) exerts a causal influence upon the dorsal amygdala (putative central nucleus), during the application of a painful laser stimulus.
Local field potentials (LFPs) were recorded from depth electrode contacts implanted in the medial temporal lobe for the treatment of epilepsy, and causal influences were analyzed by Granger causality (GRC). This analysis indicates that the dorsal amygdala exerts a pre-stimulus causal influence upon the hippocampus, consistent with an attention-related response to the painful laser. Within the amygdala, the analysis indicates that the ventral contacts exert a causal influence upon dorsal contacts, consistent with the human (putative) indirect pathway. Potentials evoked by the laser (LEPs) were not recorded in the ventral nuclei, but were recorded at dorsal amygdala contacts which were not preferentially those receiving causal influences from the ventral contacts. Therefore, it seems likely that the putative indirect pathway is associated with causal influences from the ventral to the dorsal amygdala, and is distinct from the human (putative) indirect pathway which mediates LEPs in the dorsal amygdala.
human; pain; amygdala; hippocampus; causality; fear conditioning
For patients with pharmaco-resistant temporal epilepsy, unilateral anterior temporal lobectomy (ATL) – i.e. the surgical resection of the hippocampus, the amygdala, the temporal pole and the most anterior part of the temporal gyri – is an efficient treatment. There is growing evidence that anterior regions of the temporal lobe are involved in the integration and short-term memorization of object-related sound properties. However, non-verbal auditory processing in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) has raised little attention. To assess non-verbal auditory cognition in patients with temporal epilepsy both before and after unilateral ATL, we developed a set of non-verbal auditory tests, including environmental sounds. We could evaluate auditory semantic identification, acoustic and object-related short-term memory, and sound extraction from a sound mixture. The performances of 26 TLE patients before and/or after ATL were compared to those of 18 healthy subjects. Patients before and after ATL were found to present with similar deficits in pitch retention, and in identification and short-term memorisation of environmental sounds, whereas not being impaired in basic acoustic processing compared to healthy subjects. It is most likely that the deficits observed before and after ATL are related to epileptic neuropathological processes. Therefore, in patients with drug-resistant TLE, ATL seems to significantly improve seizure control without producing additional auditory deficits.
epilepsy; audition; short-term memory; identification; environmental sounds; temporal lobe; resection
Temporal lobe epilepsy may be associated with emotional difficulties such as depression or anxiety. Since the amygdala is involved in both epilepsy and emotion, common neural mechanisms in this temporal lobe structure may underlie the emotional disturbances observed in people with epilepsy. The neurotransmitter serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, or 5-HT) is implicated in many psychopathologies, and 5-HT also modulates amygdala excitability. Therefore, the present study used the fear potentiated startle (FPS) paradigm to investigate the effect of neuronal excitability on fear behavior in rats treated with p-chlorophenylalanine (PCPA) to chronically inhibit 5-HT synthesis. PCPA treatment selectively enhanced FPS in individually-housed rats. The exaggerated FPS response was reduced to control level by the anticonvulsant phenytoin (10mg/kg) and phenytoin (30 mg/kg) further decreased FPS behavior. These data suggest that a sub-seizure state of neuronal excitability mediated by low 5-HT in brain fear circuits may be associated with pathological fear behavior.
Anticonvulsant; Amygdala; Hyperexcitability; Serotonin; Phenytoin; Fear-potentiated startle; Behavior; Rat
The amygdala is known to influence processing of threat-related stimuli in distant brain regions, including visual cortex. The time-course of these distant influences is unknown, although this information is important for resolving debates over likely pathways mediating an apparent rapidity in emotional processing. To address this, we recorded event-related-potentials (ERPs) to seen fearful face expressions, in pre-operative patients with medial temporal lobe epilepsy who had varying degrees of amygdala pathology, plus healthy volunteers. We found that amygdala damage diminished ERPs for fearful versus neutral faces within the P1 time-range, ~100-150msec, and for a later component at ~500-600msec. Individual severity of amygdala damage determined the magnitude of both these effects, consistent with a causal amygdala role. By contrast, amygdala damage did not affect explicit perception of fearful expressions, nor a distinct emotional ERP effect at 150-250msec. These results demonstrate two distinct time-points at which the amygdala influences fear processing. The data also demonstrate that while not all aspects of expression processing are disrupted by amygdala damage, there is a crucial impact on an early P1 component. These findings are consistent with the existence of multiple processing stages or routes for fearful faces that vary in their dependence on amygdala function.
ERP; medial temporal lobe epilepsy; emotion; P1; late-P3; SPM5
The amygdala is known to influence processing of threat-related stimuli in distant brain regions, including visual cortex. The time-course of these distant influences is unknown, although this information is important for resolving debates over likely pathways mediating an apparent rapidity in emotional processing. To address this, we recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) to seen fearful face expressions, in preoperative patients with medial temporal lobe epilepsy who had varying degrees of amygdala pathology, plus healthy volunteers. We found that amygdala damage diminished ERPs for fearful versus neutral faces within the P1 time-range, ∼100–150 ms, and for a later component at ∼500–600 ms. Individual severity of amygdala damage determined the magnitude of both these effects, consistent with a causal amygdala role. By contrast, amygdala damage did not affect explicit perception of fearful expressions nor a distinct emotional ERP effect at 150–250 ms. These results demonstrate two distinct time-points at which the amygdala influences fear processing. The data also demonstrate that while not all aspects of expression processing are disrupted by amygdala damage, there is a crucial impact on an early P1 component. These findings are consistent with the existence of multiple processing stages or routes for fearful faces that vary in their dependence on amygdala function. Hum Brain Mapp, 2010. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
ERP; medial temporal lobe epilepsy; emotion; P1; late-P3; SPM5
Surgery has become the standard of care for patients with intractable temporal lobe epilepsy with anterior temporal lobe resection the most common operation performed for adults with hippocampal sclerosis. This procedure leads to significant improvement in the lives of the overwhelming majority of patients. Despite improved techniques in neuroimaging that have facilitated the identification of potential surgical candidates, the short and long term success of epilepsy surgery has not changed substantially in recent decades. The basic surgical goal, removal of the amygdala, hippocampus, and parahippocampal gyrus, is based on the hypothesis that these structures represent a uniform and contiguous source of seizures in the mesial temporal lobe epilepsy syndrome. Recent observations from the histopathology of resected tissue, preoperative neuroimaging and the basic science laboratory suggest that the syndrome is not always a uniform entity. Despite clinical similarity, not all patients become seizure free. Improving surgical outcomes requires a re-examination of why patients fail surgery. This review will examine recent findings from the clinic and laboratory. Historically, we have considered MTLE a single disorder, but it may be time to view it as a group of closely related syndromes with variable type and extent of histopathology. That recognition may lead to identifying the appropriate subgroups that will require different diagnostic and surgical approaches to improve surgical outcomes.
Defining precisely the site of seizure onset has important implication for our understanding of the pathophysiology of temporal lobe epilepsy as well as for the surgical treatment of the disorder. Removal of the limbic areas of the medial temporal lobe has led to a high rate of seizure control, but the relatively large number of patients for whom seizure control is incomplete as well as the low rate of surgical cure suggest that the focus extends beyond the usual limits of surgical resection. A reevaluation of the extent of the pathology as well as new data from animal models suggest that the seizure focus extends, at least in some cases, beyond the hippocampus and amygdala that are usually removed at the time of surgery. In this review we will examine current information about the pathology and physiology of the mesial temporal lobe epilepsy syndrome, with a special emphasis on the distribution of the changes and the patterns of seizure onset. We will then propose a hypothesis for the nature of the seizure focus in this disorder and discuss its clinical implications, with the ultimate goal of improving surgical outcomes and developing nonsurgical therapies that may improve seizure control.
epilepsy; temporal lobe; limbic system; seizure focus
Febrile seizures are the most common seizure type in young children. Whether they induce death of hippocampal and amygdala neurons and consequent limbic (temporal lobe) epilepsy has remained controversial, with conflicting data from prospective and retrospective studies. Using an appropriate-age rat model of febrile seizures, we investigated the acute and chronic effects of hyperthermic seizures on neuronal integrity and survival in the hippocampus and amygdala via molecular and neuroanatomical methods. Hyperthermic seizures–but not hyperthermia alone–resulted in numerous argyrophilic neurons in discrete regions of the limbic system; within 24 hr of seizures, a significant proportion of neurons in the central nucleus of the amygdala and in the hippocampal CA3 and CA1 pyramidal cell layer were affected. These physicochemical alterations of hippocampal and amygdala neurons persisted for at least 2 weeks but were not accompanied by significant DNA fragmentation, as determined by in situ end labeling. By 4 weeks after the seizures, no significant neuronal dropout in these regions was evident. In conclusion, in the immature rat model, hyperthermic seizures lead to profound, yet primarily transient alterations in neuronal structure.
seizures; animal model; febrile seizures; epilepsy; neuronal death; excitotoxicity; apoptosis; in situ end labeling
Objectives: To investigate the use of whole brain voxel based morphometry (VBM) and stereological analysis to study brain morphology in patients with medically intractable temporal lobe epilepsy; and to determine the relation between side, duration, and age of onset of temporal lobe epilepsy, history of childhood febrile convulsions, and grey matter structure.
Methods: Three dimensional magnetic resonance images were obtained from 58 patients with left sided seizure onset (LSSO) and 58 patients with right sided seizure onset (RSSO), defined using EEG and foramen ovale recordings in the course of presurgical evaluation for temporal lobectomy. Fifty eight normal controls formed a comparison group. VBM was used to characterise whole brain grey matter concentration, while the Cavalieri method of modern design stereology in conjunction with point counting was used to estimate hippocampal and amygdala volume. Age and sex were used as confounding covariates in analyses.
Results: LSSO and RSSO patients showed significant reductions in volume (using stereology) and grey matter concentration (using VBM) of the hippocampus, but not of the amygdala, in the presumed epileptogenic zone when compared with controls, but hippocampal (and amygdala) volume and grey matter concentration were not related to duration or age of onset of epilepsy. LSSO and RSSO patients with a history of childhood febrile convulsions had reduced hippocampal volumes in the presumed epileptogenic zone compared with patients without such a history. Left amygdala volume was also reduced in LSSO patients with a history of childhood convulsions. VBM results indicated bilateral thalamic, prefrontal, and cerebellar GMC reduction in patients, which correlated with duration and age of onset of epilepsy.
Conclusions: Hippocampal sclerosis is not necessarily the consequence of recurrent temporal lobe seizures. A major cause of hippocampal sclerosis appears to be an early aberrant neurological insult, such as childhood febrile seizures. Secondary brain abnormalities exist in regions outside the presumed epileptogenic zone and may result from recurrent seizures.
The pathogenesis of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE), the most prevalent form of refractory focal epilepsy in adults, is thought to begin in early life, even though seizures may not commence until adolescence or adulthood. Amongst the range of early life factors implicated in MTLE causation (febrile seizures, traumatic brain injury, etc.), stress may be one important contributor. Early life stress is an a priori agent deserving study because of the large amount of neuroscientific data showing enduring effects on structure and function in hippocampus and amygdala, the key structures involved in MTLE. An emerging body of evidence directly tests hypotheses concerning early life stress and limbic epilepsy: early life stressors, such as maternal separation, have been shown to aggravate epileptogenesis in both status epilepticus and kindling models of limbic epilepsy. In addition to elucidating its influence on limbic epileptogenesis itself, the study of early life stress has the potential to shed light on the psychiatric disorder that accompanies MTLE. For many years, psychiatric comorbidity was viewed as an effect of epilepsy, mediated psychologically and/or neurobiologically. An alternative – or complementary – perspective is that of shared causation. Early life stress, implicated in the pathogenesis of several psychiatric disorders, may be one such causal factor. This paper aims to critically review the body of experimental evidence linking early life stress and epilepsy; to discuss the direct studies examining early life stress effects in current models of limbic seizures/epilepsy; and to suggest priorities for future research.
temporal lobe epilepsy; early life stress; depression; hippocampus; hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis
Refractory temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is often associated with hippocampal sclerosis (HS). Patients with major depression (MD) may also show structural abnormalities in the limbic system. Co‐occurrence of TLE with HS and MD is not uncommon. We have investigated the clinical and morphological characteristics of TLE patients in relation to MD.
34 TLE patients with HS were assessed at a Comprehensive Epilepsy Programme. All relevant clinical data were obtained, including the history of antecedent events to epilepsy. MD was diagnosed based on detailed psychiatric investigation. MRI was used to measure the volume and tissue signal (T2 relaxometry) of the hippocampus and amygdala. The imaging data were expressed as a percentage of the values obtained in a series of 55 controls.
A history of MD was present in 15 (44%) of 34 patients. Patients with MD had a longer duration of their epilepsy (p<0.05) and a lower frequency of antecedent events (13% with MD, 58% without MD, p<0.05). Both groups had a similar degree of ipsilateral HS (small hippocampal volume, increased hippocampal T2 relaxation time) and demonstrated bilateral amygdaloid atrophy. However, the contralateral amygdala showed lower signal in the presence of MD (97 (9) ms; no MD 103 (8) ms; ANCOVA, p = 0.02).
The integrity of the amygdala may influence mood disturbances in TLE patients with HS, as depression was associated with a relative preservation of the contralateral amygdala. In contrast, hippocampal abnormalities were not related to the presence of depression.
Persistent down-regulation in the expression of the hyperpolarization-activated HCN1 cation channel, a key determinant of intrinsic neuronal excitability, has been observed in febrile seizure, temporal lobe epilepsy and generalized epilepsy animal models, as well as patients with epilepsy. However, the role and importance of HCN1 downregulation for seizure activity is unclear. To address this question we determined the susceptibility of mice with either a general or forebrain-restricted deletion of HCN1 to limbic seizure induction by amygdala kindling or pilocarpine administration. Loss of HCN1 expression in both mouse lines is associated with higher seizure severity and higher seizure-related mortality, independent of the seizure induction method used. Thus, downregulation of HCN1 associated with human epilepsy and rodent models may be a contributing factor to seizure behavior.
intrinsic excitability; Ih conductance; HCN channels; limbic seizures; kindling; pilocarpine
Ganaxolone (3α-hydroxy-3β-methyl-5α-pregnan-20-one), a synthetic analog of the endogenous neurosteroid allopregnanolone and a positive allosteric modulator of GABAA receptors, may represent a new treatment approach for epilepsy. Here we demonstrate that pretreatment with ganaxolone (1.25–20 mg/kg, s.c.) causes a dose-dependent suppression of behavioral and electrographic seizures in fully amygdala kindled female mice, with nearly complete seizure protection at the highest dose tested. The ED50 for suppression of behavioral seizures was 6.6 mg/kg. The seizure suppression produced by ganaxolone was comparable to that of clonazepam (ED50, 0.1 mg/kg, s.c.). To the extent that amygdala kindling represents a model of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy, this study supports the utility of ganaxolone in the treatment of patients with temporal lobe seizures.
ganaxolone; neurosteroid; clonazepam; GABAA receptor; amygdala kindling; epilepsy; seizure; female mice
This study aimed to examine the close correlation between
complicated febrile convulsions (CFC) and medial temporal lobe epilepsy and to delineate characteristics of temporal lobe epilepsy with CFC.
Patients with temporal lobe epilepsy were divided into those with a
prior episode of CFC (n=52), those with febrile convulsions other than
CFC, and those witout either (n=345). Clinical constellations, neuroimaging, drug resistance, and effects of temporal lobectomy of the
three groups were compared. A close association between CFC and
temporal lobe epilepsy was confirmed. The salient features of temporal
lobe epilepsy with CFC were early age at onset of habitual seizures
(about 10 years), the predominance of autonomic auras, and a high
incidence of MRI evidence of unilateral medial temporal sclerosis.
Patients with temporal lobe epilepsy with prior CFC had an excellent
outcome after surgery, by contrast with an unfavourable response to
drug therapy. The surgical results were discouraging in patients with
temporal lobe epilepsy without history of any febrile convulsions and
without solid brain tumours. These results indicate surgical
intervention as the choice of therapy in a substantial number of
patients with temporal lobe epilepsy with a history of CFC.
Previous research has shown that emotional information aids conflict resolution in working memory (Levens and Phelps, 2008). Using a Recency-probes working memory (WM) paradigm, Levens and Phelps found that positive and negative emotional stimuli reduced the amount of interference created when information that was once relevant conflicted with currently relevant information, suggesting that emotional information facilitates interference resolution in WM. To determine what regions of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and temporal lobes are critical to the influence of emotional stimuli on interference resolution, we conducted a Recency-probes emotion paradigm with right and left unilateral frontal and temporal lobe lesion patients. The frontal lobe lesion patient group comprised individuals with unilateral ventral and dorsal PFC lesions. The temporal lobe lesion patient group comprised individuals with lesions of the amygdala and surrounding structures. Results indicate that when the left amygdala is damaged, emotional facilitation of interference resolution is absent (equal emotional and neutral interference levels), when the right orbital frontal cortex (OFC) is damaged, in contrast, emotional interference resolution is impaired (emotional interference levels are higher than neutral levels are). Based on these unique patterns we propose specific contributions for these regions in the emotional facilitation of interference resolution in WM.
interference resolution; emotion; working memory; orbital frontal cortex; amygdala; prefrontal cortex
Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the volumes of medial temporal lobe structures using high resolution magnetic resonance images from patients with chronic refractory medial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE).
Methods: We studied 30 healthy subjects, and 25 patients with drug refractory MTLE and unilateral hippocampal atrophy (HA). We used T1 magnetic resonance images with 1 mm isotropic voxels, and applied a field non-homogeneity correction and a linear stereotaxic transformation into a standard space. The structures of interest are the entorhinal cortex, perirhinal cortex, parahippocampal cortex, temporopolar cortex, hippocampus, and amygdala. Structures were identified by visual examination of the coronal, sagittal, and axial planes. The threshold of statistical significance was set to p<0.05.
Results: Patients with right and left MTLE showed a reduction in volume of the entorhinal (p<0.001) and perirhinal (p<0.01) cortices ipsilateral to the HA, compared with normal controls. Patients with right MTLE exhibited a significant asymmetry of all studied structures; the right hemisphere structures had smaller volume than their left side counterparts. We did not observe linear correlations between the volumes of different structures of the medial temporal lobe in patients with MTLE.
Conclusion: Patients with refractory MTLE have damage in the temporal lobe that extends beyond the hippocampus, and affects the regions with close anatomical and functional connections to the hippocampus.
Anterior temporal lobe resections (ATLR) benefit 70% of patients with refractory mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), but may be complicated by emotional disturbances. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the role of the amygdala in processing emotions in TLE and whether this may be a potential preoperative predictive marker for emotional disturbances following surgery.
We studied 54 patients with refractory mesial TLE due to hippocampal sclerosis (28 right, 26 left) and 21 healthy controls using a memory encoding fMRI paradigm, which included viewing fearful and neutral faces. Twenty-one TLE patients (10 left, 11 right) subsequently underwent ATLR. Anxiety and depression were assessed preoperatively and 4 months postoperatively using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.
On viewing fearful faces, healthy controls demonstrated left lateralized, while right TLE patients showed bilateral amygdala activation. Left TLE patients had significantly reduced activation in left and right amygdalae compared to controls and right TLE patients. In right TLE patients, left and right amygdala activation was significantly related to preoperative anxiety and depression levels, and preoperative right amygdala activation correlated significantly with postoperative change of anxiety and depression scores, characterized by greater increases in anxiety and depression in patients with greater preoperative activation. No such correlations were seen for left TLE patients.
The fearful face fMRI paradigm is a reliable method for visualizing amygdala activation in controls and patients with mesial TLE. Activation of the right amygdala preoperatively was predictive of emotional disturbances following right ATLR.
Temporal lobe epilepsy; fMRI; Emotion; Amygdala.
The expression pattern and function of miRNAs in the rat model of temporal lobe epilepsy have not been well defined. Profiling miRNA expression in the rat model of temporal lobe epilepsy and investigating the function of specific miRNAs in epilepsy offers the prospect of a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of epilepsy.
The lithium-pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus model and the temporal lobe epilepsy model were established in Sprague–Dawley rats. Samples were analysed to detect deregulated miRNAs in the hippocampal temporal lobe, and several of these deregulated miRNAs were confirmed by qPCR. The expression of the pro-apoptotic miR-34a was detected at 1 day, 7 days and 2 weeks post-status epilepticus and at 2 months after temporal lobe epilepsy. The antagomir of miR-34a was then utilised. The expression of miR-34a after targeting and the expression change of activated caspase-3 protein were examined. The effects of altering the expression of miR-34a and activated caspase-3 protein on neuronal survival and neuronal death or apoptosis post-status epilepticus were assessed.
The miRNA microarray detected 9 up-regulated miRNAs (miR-146a, -211, -203, -210, -152, -31, -23a, -34a, -27a) and 15 down-regulated miRNAs (miR-138*, -301a, -136, -153, -19a, -135b, -325-5p, -380, -190, -542-3p, -33, -144, -542-5p, -543, -296*). Some of the deregulated miRNAs (miR-146a, miR-210, miR-27a, miR-135b and miR-33) were confirmed using qPCR. Furthermore, an increase in expression of the pro-apoptotic miR-34a was demonstrated in the post-status epilepticus rat hippocampus. miR-34a was significantly up-regulated at 1 day, 7 days and 2 weeks post-status epilepticus and at 2 months after temporal lobe epilepsy. Experiments with the miR-34a antagomir revealed that targeting miR-34a led to an inhibition of activated caspase-3 protein expression, which may contribute to increased neuronal survival and reduced neuronal death or apoptosis.
Our study showed the expression profile of miRNAs in the hippocampus in a rat model of temporal lobe epilepsy and an increase in the expression of the pro-apoptotic miR-34a in post-status epilepticus rats. The results show that miR-34a is up-regulated during seizure-induced neuronal death or apoptosis, and targeting miR-34a is neuroprotective and is associated with an inhibition of an increase in activated caspase-3 protein.
MiRNA; Epilepsy; Hippocampus; Apoptosis; Status epilepticus
The amygdala-kindled rat is a model for human temporal lobe epilepsy and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. Hippocampal RNA isolated from amygdala-kindled rats at different kindling stages was analyzed to identify kindling-induced genes. Furthermore, effects of the anti-epileptic drug levetiracetam on kindling-induced gene expression were examined.
Cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox-2), Protocadherin-8 (Pcdh8) and TGF-beta-inducible early response gene-1 (TIEG1) were identified and verified as differentially expressed transcripts in the hippocampus of kindled rats by in situ hybridization and quantitative RT-PCR. In addition, we identified a panel of 16 additional transcripts which included Arc, Egr3/Pilot, Homer1a, Ania-3, MMP9, Narp, c-fos, NGF, BDNF, NT-3, Synaptopodin, Pim1 kinase, TNF-α, RGS2, Egr2/krox-20 and β-A activin that were differentially expressed in the hippocampus of amygdala-kindled rats. The list consists of many synaptic plasticity-related immediate early genes (IEGs) as well as some late response genes encoding transcription factors, neurotrophic factors and proteins that are known to regulate synaptic remodelling. In the hippocampus, induction of IEG expression was dependent on the afterdischarge (AD) duration. Levetiracetam, 40 mg/kg, suppressed the development of kindling measured as severity of seizures and AD duration. In addition, single animal profiling also showed that levetiracetam attenuated the observed kindling-induced IEG expression; an effect that paralleled the anti-epileptic effect of the drug on AD duration.
The present study provides mRNA expression data that suggest that levetiracetam attenuates expression of genes known to regulate synaptic remodelling. In the kindled rat, levetiracetam does so by shortening the AD duration thereby reducing the seizure-induced changes in mRNA expression in the hippocampus.
The kindling model of temporal lobe epilepsy and the memory model of long-term potentiation (LTP) may have common underlying mechanisms. This is evident by the demonstration that certain signaling molecules play a key role in both. Recently, a brain specific isoform of protein kinase C (PKMζ) has been shown to play a significant role in both maintaining LTP and memory storage. We were interested in determining if this kinase had a crossover role in kindling-induced epileptogenesis. Using developing and adult rats we examined the role of PKMζ in kindling. In developing (P15) rats we determined the effect of PKMζ on retention of amygdala kindling and kindling rate by intra-amygdala administration of a selective PKMζ antagonist, ZIP (10 nmol). In adult rats we examined the effect of PKMζ inhibition, ZIP (10 nmol), on afterdischarge (AD) thresholds and kindling retention using rapid hippocampal kindling. Inhibition of PKMζ by the antagonist ZIP did not affect kindling rate or retention in developing rats. In addition there was also no observed effect on AD thresholds and kindling retention in adult rats. Our results show that, despite the similarities between kindling and LTP in their induction, there is dissociation in the role that PKMζ plays within the two in maintenance. This may be of importance in establishing a separation between the pathophysiological processes involved in sustaining kindling and the physiological mechanisms involved in maintaining LTP and memory storage.
seizures; protein kinase; rat; development
Background: Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) of the hippocampus is useful in lateralising the epileptic focus in temporal lobe epilepsy for subsequent surgical resection. Previous studies have reported abnormal contralateral MRS values in up to 50% of the patients.
Objective: To identify the contributing factors to contralateral damage, as determined by MRS, and its extension in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy.
Methods: Single voxel MRS was carried out in the hippocampus and lateral temporal neocortex of both hemispheres in 13 patients with left temporal lobe epilepsy (LTLE) and 16 patients with right temporal lobe epilepsy (RTLE). All patients had mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis. Controls were 21 healthy volunteers of comparable age.
Results: Consistent with previous studies, the NAA/(Cho+Cr) ratio was abnormally low in the hippocampus ipsilateral to the focus (p < 0.0001), and there were lower values in both patient groups in the ipsilateral temporal neocortex (p < 0.0001). Patients with RTLE had left hippocampal MRS anomalies (p = 0.0018), whereas the right hippocampus seemed to be undamaged in LTLE patients.
Conclusions: Unilateral mesial temporal lobe epilepsy is associated with widespread metabolic abnormalities which involve contralateral mesial and neocortical temporal lobe structures. These abnormalities appear to be more pronounced in patients with RTLE.