Rapidly spreading seizures arise from large-scale functional brain networks in focal epilepsy

Taira Uehara, Hiroshi Shigeto, Takahiko Mukaino, Jun Yokoyama, Toshiki Okadome, Ryo Yamasaki, Katsuya Ogata, Nobutaka Mukae, Ayumi Sakata, Shozo Tobimatsu, Jun ichi Kira

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2 Citations (Scopus)


It remains unclear whether epileptogenic networks in focal epilepsy develop on physiological networks. This work aimed to explore the association between the rapid spread of ictal fast activity (IFA), a proposed biomarker for epileptogenic networks, and the functional connectivity or networks of healthy subjects. We reviewed 45 patients with focal epilepsy who underwent electrocorticographic (ECoG) recordings to identify the patients showing the rapid spread of IFA. IFA power was quantified as normalized beta-gamma band power. Using published resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging databases, we estimated resting-state functional connectivity of healthy subjects (RSFC-HS) and resting-state networks of healthy subjects (RSNs-HS) at the locations corresponding to the patients' electrodes. We predicted the IFA power of each electrode based on RSFC-HS between electrode locations (RSFC-HS-based prediction) using a recently developed method, termed activity flow mapping. RSNs-HS were identified using seed-based and atlas-based methods. We compared IFA power with RSFC-HS-based prediction or RSNs-HS using non-parametric correlation coefficients. RSFC and seed-based RSNs of each patient (RSFC-PT and seed-based RSNs-PT) were also estimated using interictal ECoG data and compared with IFA power in the same way as RSFC-HS and seed-based RSNs-HS. Spatial autocorrelation-preserving randomization tests were performed for significance testing. Nine patients met the inclusion criteria. None of the patients had reflex seizures. Six patients showed pathological evidence of a structural etiology. In total, we analyzed 49 seizures (2–13 seizures per patient). We observed significant correlations between IFA power and RSFC-HS-based prediction, seed-based RSNs-HS, or atlas-based RSNs-HS in 28 (57.1%), 21 (42.9%), and 28 (57.1%) seizures, respectively. Thirty-two (65.3%) seizures showed a significant correlation with either seed-based or atlas-based RSNs-HS, but this ratio varied across patients: 27 (93.1%) of 29 seizures in six patients correlated with either of them. Among atlas-based RSNs-HS, correlated RSNs-HS with IFA power included the default mode, control, dorsal attention, somatomotor, and temporal-parietal networks. We could not obtain RSFC-PT and RSNs-PT in one patient due to frequent interictal epileptiform discharges. In the remaining eight patients, most of the seizures showed significant correlations between IFA power and RSFC-PT-based prediction or seed-based RSNs-PT. Our study provides evidence that the rapid spread of IFA in focal epilepsy can arise from physiological RSNs. This finding suggests an overlap between epileptogenic and functional networks, which may explain why functional networks in patients with focal epilepsy frequently disrupt.

Original languageEnglish
Article number118104
Publication statusPublished - Aug 15 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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