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1.  Working memory network plasticity after anterior temporal lobe resection: a longitudinal functional magnetic resonance imaging study 
Brain  2014;137(5):1439-1453.
Temporal lobe surgery can control seizures in drug-resistant epilepsy, but its impact on working memory is poorly understood. Using functional MRI, Stretton et al. reveal improvements in working memory post-surgery, which depend upon the functional capacity of the hippocampal remnant and the functional reserve of the contralateral hippocampus.
Working memory is a crucial cognitive function that is disrupted in temporal lobe epilepsy. It is unclear whether this impairment is a consequence of temporal lobe involvement in working memory processes or due to seizure spread to extratemporal eloquent cortex. Anterior temporal lobe resection controls seizures in 50–80% of patients with drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy and the effect of surgery on working memory are poorly understood both at a behavioural and neural level. We investigated the impact of temporal lobe resection on the efficiency and functional anatomy of working memory networks. We studied 33 patients with unilateral medial temporal lobe epilepsy (16 left) before, 3 and 12 months after anterior temporal lobe resection. Fifteen healthy control subjects were also assessed in parallel. All subjects had neuropsychological testing and performed a visuospatial working memory functional magnetic resonance imaging paradigm on these three separate occasions. Changes in activation and deactivation patterns were modelled individually and compared between groups. Changes in task performance were included as regressors of interest to assess the efficiency of changes in the networks. Left and right temporal lobe epilepsy patients were impaired on preoperative measures of working memory compared to controls. Working memory performance did not decline following left or right temporal lobe resection, but improved at 3 and 12 months following left and, to a lesser extent, following right anterior temporal lobe resection. After left anterior temporal lobe resection, improved performance correlated with greater deactivation of the left hippocampal remnant and the contralateral right hippocampus. There was a failure of increased deactivation of the left hippocampal remnant at 3 months after left temporal lobe resection compared to control subjects, which had normalized 12 months after surgery. Following right anterior temporal lobe resection there was a progressive increase of activation in the right superior parietal lobe at 3 and 12 months after surgery. There was greater deactivation of the right hippocampal remnant compared to controls between 3 and 12 months after right anterior temporal lobe resection that was associated with lesser improvement in task performance. Working memory improved after anterior temporal lobe resection, particularly following left-sided resections. Postoperative working memory was reliant on the functional capacity of the hippocampal remnant and, following left resections, the functional reserve of the right hippocampus. These data suggest that working memory following temporal lobe resection is dependent on the engagement of the posterior medial temporal lobes and eloquent cortex.
doi:10.1093/brain/awu061
PMCID: PMC3999723  PMID: 24691395
working memory; temporal lobe surgery; epilepsy; functional MRI
2.  Memory reorganization following anterior temporal lobe resection: a longitudinal functional MRI study 
Brain  2013;136(6):1889-1900.
Anterior temporal lobe resection controls seizures in 50–60% of patients with intractable temporal lobe epilepsy but may impair memory function, typically verbal memory following left, and visual memory following right anterior temporal lobe resection. Functional reorganization can occur within the ipsilateral and contralateral hemispheres. We investigated the reorganization of memory function in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy before and after left or right anterior temporal lobe resection and the efficiency of postoperative memory networks. We studied 46 patients with unilateral medial temporal lobe epilepsy (25/26 left hippocampal sclerosis, 16/20 right hippocampal sclerosis) before and after anterior temporal lobe resection on a 3 T General Electric magnetic resonance imaging scanner. All subjects had neuropsychological testing and performed a functional magnetic resonance imaging memory encoding paradigm for words, pictures and faces, testing verbal and visual memory in a single scanning session, preoperatively and again 4 months after surgery. Event-related analysis revealed that patients with left temporal lobe epilepsy had greater activation in the left posterior medial temporal lobe when successfully encoding words postoperatively than preoperatively. Greater pre- than postoperative activation in the ipsilateral posterior medial temporal lobe for encoding words correlated with better verbal memory outcome after left anterior temporal lobe resection. In contrast, greater postoperative than preoperative activation in the ipsilateral posterior medial temporal lobe correlated with worse postoperative verbal memory performance. These postoperative effects were not observed for visual memory function after right anterior temporal lobe resection. Our findings provide evidence for effective preoperative reorganization of verbal memory function to the ipsilateral posterior medial temporal lobe due to the underlying disease, suggesting that it is the capacity of the posterior remnant of the ipsilateral hippocampus rather than the functional reserve of the contralateral hippocampus that is important for maintaining verbal memory function after anterior temporal lobe resection. Early postoperative reorganization to ipsilateral posterior or contralateral medial temporal lobe structures does not underpin better performance. Additionally our results suggest that visual memory function in right temporal lobe epilepsy is affected differently by right anterior temporal lobe resection than verbal memory in left temporal lobe epilepsy.
doi:10.1093/brain/awt105
PMCID: PMC3673465  PMID: 23715092
temporal lobe epilepsy; functional MRI; verbal memory; visual memory; anterior temporal lobe resection
3.  A functional magnetic resonance imaging study mapping the episodic memory encoding network in temporal lobe epilepsy 
Brain  2013;136(6):1868-1888.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging has demonstrated reorganization of memory encoding networks within the temporal lobe in temporal lobe epilepsy, but little is known of the extra-temporal networks in these patients. We investigated the temporal and extra-temporal reorganization of memory encoding networks in refractory temporal lobe epilepsy and the neural correlates of successful subsequent memory formation. We studied 44 patients with unilateral temporal lobe epilepsy and hippocampal sclerosis (24 left) and 26 healthy control subjects. All participants performed a functional magnetic resonance imaging memory encoding paradigm of faces and words with subsequent out-of-scanner recognition assessments. A blocked analysis was used to investigate activations during encoding and neural correlates of subsequent memory were investigated using an event-related analysis. Event-related activations were then correlated with out-of-scanner verbal and visual memory scores. During word encoding, control subjects activated the left prefrontal cortex and left hippocampus whereas patients with left hippocampal sclerosis showed significant additional right temporal and extra-temporal activations. Control subjects displayed subsequent verbal memory effects within left parahippocampal gyrus, left orbitofrontal cortex and fusiform gyrus whereas patients with left hippocampal sclerosis activated only right posterior hippocampus, parahippocampus and fusiform gyrus. Correlational analysis showed that patients with left hippocampal sclerosis with better verbal memory additionally activated left orbitofrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex and left posterior hippocampus. During face encoding, control subjects showed right lateralized prefrontal cortex and bilateral hippocampal activations. Patients with right hippocampal sclerosis showed increased temporal activations within the superior temporal gyri bilaterally and no increased extra-temporal areas of activation compared with control subjects. Control subjects showed subsequent visual memory effects within right amygdala, hippocampus, fusiform gyrus and orbitofrontal cortex. Patients with right hippocampal sclerosis showed subsequent visual memory effects within right posterior hippocampus, parahippocampal and fusiform gyri, and predominantly left hemisphere extra-temporal activations within the insula and orbitofrontal cortex. Correlational analysis showed that patients with right hippocampal sclerosis with better visual memory activated the amygdala bilaterally, right anterior parahippocampal gyrus and left insula. Right sided extra-temporal areas of reorganization observed in patients with left hippocampal sclerosis during word encoding and bilateral lateral temporal reorganization in patients with right hippocampal sclerosis during face encoding were not associated with subsequent memory formation. Reorganization within the medial temporal lobe, however, is an efficient process. The orbitofrontal cortex is critical to subsequent memory formation in control subjects and patients. Activations within anterior cingulum and insula correlated with better verbal and visual subsequent memory in patients with left and right hippocampal sclerosis, respectively, representing effective extra-temporal recruitment.
doi:10.1093/brain/awt099
PMCID: PMC3673458  PMID: 23674488
temporal lobe epilepsy; episodic memory; functional MRI
4.  Abnormal thalamocortical structural and functional connectivity in juvenile myoclonic epilepsy 
Brain  2012;135(12):3635-3644.
Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy is the most common idiopathic generalized epilepsy, characterized by frequent myoclonic jerks, generalized tonic-clonic seizures and, less commonly, absences. Neuropsychological and, less consistently, anatomical studies have indicated frontal lobe dysfunction in the disease. Given its presumed thalamo–cortical basis, we investigated thalamo–cortical structural connectivity, as measured by diffusion tensor imaging, in a cohort of 28 participants with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy and detected changes in an anterior thalamo–cortical bundle compared with healthy control subjects. We then investigated task-modulated functional connectivity from the anterior thalamic region identified using functional magnetic resonance imaging in a task consistently shown to be impaired in this group, phonemic verbal fluency. We demonstrate an alteration in task-modulated connectivity in a region of frontal cortex directly connected to the thalamus via the same anatomical bundle, and overlapping with the supplementary motor area. Further, we show that the degree of abnormal connectivity is related to disease severity in those with active seizures. By integrating methods examining structural and effective interregional connectivity, these results provide convincing evidence for abnormalities in a specific thalamo–cortical circuit, with reduced structural and task-induced functional connectivity, which may underlie the functional abnormalities in this idiopathic epilepsy.
doi:10.1093/brain/aws296
PMCID: PMC3525058  PMID: 23250883
juvenile myoclonic epilepsy; connectivity; functional MRI; diffusion MRI
5.  With or without spikes: localization of focal epileptic activity by simultaneous electroencephalography and functional magnetic resonance imaging 
Brain  2011;134(10):2867-2886.
In patients with medically refractory focal epilepsy who are candidates for epilepsy surgery, concordant non-invasive neuroimaging data are useful to guide invasive electroencephalographic recordings or surgical resection. Simultaneous electroencephalography and functional magnetic resonance imaging recordings can reveal regions of haemodynamic fluctuations related to epileptic activity and help localize its generators. However, many of these studies (40–70%) remain inconclusive, principally due to the absence of interictal epileptiform discharges during simultaneous recordings, or lack of haemodynamic changes correlated to interictal epileptiform discharges. We investigated whether the presence of epilepsy-specific voltage maps on scalp electroencephalography correlated with haemodynamic changes and could help localize the epileptic focus. In 23 patients with focal epilepsy, we built epilepsy-specific electroencephalographic voltage maps using averaged interictal epileptiform discharges recorded during long-term clinical monitoring outside the scanner and computed the correlation of this map with the electroencephalographic recordings in the scanner for each time frame. The time course of this correlation coefficient was used as a regressor for functional magnetic resonance imaging analysis to map haemodynamic changes related to these epilepsy-specific maps (topography-related haemodynamic changes). The method was first validated in five patients with significant haemodynamic changes correlated to interictal epileptiform discharges on conventional analysis. We then applied the method to 18 patients who had inconclusive simultaneous electroencephalography and functional magnetic resonance imaging studies due to the absence of interictal epileptiform discharges or absence of significant correlated haemodynamic changes. The concordance of the results with subsequent intracranial electroencephalography and/or resection area in patients who were seizure free after surgery was assessed. In the validation group, haemodynamic changes correlated to voltage maps were similar to those obtained with conventional analysis in 5/5 patients. In 14/18 patients (78%) with previously inconclusive studies, scalp maps related to epileptic activity had haemodynamic correlates even when no interictal epileptiform discharges were detected during simultaneous recordings. Haemodynamic changes correlated to voltage maps were spatially concordant with intracranial electroencephalography or with the resection area. We found better concordance in patients with lateral temporal and extratemporal neocortical epilepsy compared to medial/polar temporal lobe epilepsy, probably due to the fact that electroencephalographic voltage maps specific to lateral temporal and extratemporal epileptic activity are more dissimilar to maps of physiological activity. Our approach significantly increases the yield of simultaneous electroencephalography and functional magnetic resonance imaging to localize the epileptic focus non-invasively, allowing better targeting for surgical resection or implantation of intracranial electrode arrays.
doi:10.1093/brain/awr156
PMCID: PMC3656675  PMID: 21752790
epilepsy; EEG–fMRI; EEG maps; long-term EEG monitoring
6.  Motor system hyperconnectivity in juvenile myoclonic epilepsy: a cognitive functional magnetic resonance imaging study 
Brain  2011;134(6):1710-1719.
Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy is the most frequent idiopathic generalized epilepsy syndrome. It is characterized by predominant myoclonic jerks of upper limbs, often provoked by cognitive activities, and typically responsive to treatment with sodium valproate. Neurophysiological, neuropsychological and imaging studies in juvenile myoclonic epilepsy have consistently pointed towards subtle abnormalities in the medial frontal lobes. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging with an executive frontal lobe paradigm, we investigated cortical activation patterns and interaction between cortical regions in 30 patients with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy and 26 healthy controls. With increasing cognitive demand, patients showed increasing coactivation of the primary motor cortex and supplementary motor area. This effect was stronger in patients still suffering from seizures, and was not seen in healthy controls. Patients with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy showed increased functional connectivity between the motor system and frontoparietal cognitive networks. Furthermore, we found impaired deactivation of the default mode network during cognitive tasks with persistent activation in medial frontal and central regions in patients. Coactivation in the motor cortex and supplementary motor area with increasing cognitive load and increased functional coupling between the motor system and cognitive networks provide an explanation how cognitive effort can cause myoclonic jerks in juvenile myoclonic epilepsy. The supplementary motor area represents the anatomical link between these two functional systems, and our findings may be the functional correlate of previously described structural abnormalities in the medial frontal lobe in juvenile myoclonic epilepsy.
doi:10.1093/brain/awr098
PMCID: PMC3102244  PMID: 21616969
juvenile myoclonic epilepsy; functional MRI; connectivity; supplementary motor area
7.  The structural plasticity of white matter networks following anterior temporal lobe resection 
Brain  2010;133(8):2348-2364.
Anterior temporal lobe resection is an effective treatment for refractory temporal lobe epilepsy. The structural consequences of such surgery in the white matter, and how these relate to language function after surgery remain unknown. We carried out a longitudinal study with diffusion tensor imaging in 26 left and 20 right temporal lobe epilepsy patients before and a mean of 4.5 months after anterior temporal lobe resection. The whole-brain analysis technique tract-based spatial statistics was used to compare pre- and postoperative data in the left and right temporal lobe epilepsy groups separately. We observed widespread, significant, mean 7%, decreases in fractional anisotropy in white matter networks connected to the area of resection, following both left and right temporal lobe resections. However, we also observed a widespread, mean 8%, increase in fractional anisotropy after left anterior temporal lobe resection in the ipsilateral external capsule and posterior limb of the internal capsule, and corona radiata. These findings were confirmed on analysis of the native clusters and hand drawn regions of interest. Postoperative tractography seeded from this area suggests that this cluster is part of the ventro-medial language network. The mean pre- and postoperative fractional anisotropy and parallel diffusivity in this cluster were significantly correlated with postoperative verbal fluency and naming test scores. In addition, the percentage change in parallel diffusivity in this cluster was correlated with the percentage change in verbal fluency after anterior temporal lobe resection, such that the bigger the increase in parallel diffusivity, the smaller the fall in language proficiency after surgery. We suggest that the findings of increased fractional anisotropy in this ventro-medial language network represent structural reorganization in response to the anterior temporal lobe resection, which may damage the more susceptible dorso-lateral language pathway. These findings have important implications for our understanding of brain injury and rehabilitation, and may also prove useful in the prediction and minimization of postoperative language deficits.
doi:10.1093/brain/awq175
PMCID: PMC3198261  PMID: 20826432
diffusion tensor imaging; MRI; temporal lobe epilepsy; language
8.  Common genetic variation and susceptibility to partial epilepsies: a genome-wide association study 
Brain  2010;133(7):2136-2147.
Partial epilepsies have a substantial heritability. However, the actual genetic causes are largely unknown. In contrast to many other common diseases for which genetic association-studies have successfully revealed common variants associated with disease risk, the role of common variation in partial epilepsies has not yet been explored in a well-powered study. We undertook a genome-wide association-study to identify common variants which influence risk for epilepsy shared amongst partial epilepsy syndromes, in 3445 patients and 6935 controls of European ancestry. We did not identify any genome-wide significant association. A few single nucleotide polymorphisms may warrant further investigation. We exclude common genetic variants with effect sizes above a modest 1.3 odds ratio for a single variant as contributors to genetic susceptibility shared across the partial epilepsies. We show that, at best, common genetic variation can only have a modest role in predisposition to the partial epilepsies when considered across syndromes in Europeans. The genetic architecture of the partial epilepsies is likely to be very complex, reflecting genotypic and phenotypic heterogeneity. Larger meta-analyses are required to identify variants of smaller effect sizes (odds ratio <1.3) or syndrome-specific variants. Further, our results suggest research efforts should also be directed towards identifying the multiple rare variants likely to account for at least part of the heritability of the partial epilepsies. Data emerging from genome-wide association-studies will be valuable during the next serious challenge of interpreting all the genetic variation emerging from whole-genome sequencing studies.
doi:10.1093/brain/awq130
PMCID: PMC2892941  PMID: 20522523
partial epilepsy; genome-wide association; genetics; common variants
9.  Imaging memory in temporal lobe epilepsy: predicting the effects of temporal lobe resection 
Brain  2010;133(4):1186-1199.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging can demonstrate the functional anatomy of cognitive processes. In patients with refractory temporal lobe epilepsy, evaluation of preoperative verbal and visual memory function is important as anterior temporal lobe resections may result in material specific memory impairment, typically verbal memory decline following left and visual memory decline after right anterior temporal lobe resection. This study aimed to investigate reorganization of memory functions in temporal lobe epilepsy and to determine whether preoperative memory functional magnetic resonance imaging may predict memory changes following anterior temporal lobe resection. We studied 72 patients with unilateral medial temporal lobe epilepsy (41 left) and 20 healthy controls. A functional magnetic resonance imaging memory encoding paradigm for pictures, words and faces was used testing verbal and visual memory in a single scanning session on a 3T magnetic resonance imaging scanner. Fifty-four patients subsequently underwent left (29) or right (25) anterior temporal lobe resection. Verbal and design learning were assessed before and 4 months after surgery. Event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging analysis revealed that in left temporal lobe epilepsy, greater left hippocampal activation for word encoding correlated with better verbal memory. In right temporal lobe epilepsy, greater right hippocampal activation for face encoding correlated with better visual memory. In left temporal lobe epilepsy, greater left than right anterior hippocampal activation on word encoding correlated with greater verbal memory decline after left anterior temporal lobe resection, while greater left than right posterior hippocampal activation correlated with better postoperative verbal memory outcome. In right temporal lobe epilepsy, greater right than left anterior hippocampal functional magnetic resonance imaging activation on face encoding predicted greater visual memory decline after right anterior temporal lobe resection, while greater right than left posterior hippocampal activation correlated with better visual memory outcome. Stepwise linear regression identified asymmetry of activation for encoding words and faces in the ipsilateral anterior medial temporal lobe as strongest predictors for postoperative verbal and visual memory decline. Activation asymmetry, language lateralization and performance on preoperative neuropsychological tests predicted clinically significant verbal memory decline in all patients who underwent left anterior temporal lobe resection, but were less able to predict visual memory decline after right anterior temporal lobe resection. Preoperative memory functional magnetic resonance imaging was the strongest predictor of verbal and visual memory decline following anterior temporal lobe resection. Preoperatively, verbal and visual memory function utilized the damaged, ipsilateral hippocampus and also the contralateral hippocampus. Memory function in the ipsilateral posterior hippocampus may contribute to better preservation of memory after surgery.
doi:10.1093/brain/awq006
PMCID: PMC2850579  PMID: 20157009
functional MRI; verbal and visual memory; temporal lobe epilepsy; anterior temporal lobe resection

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