Impact of Epileptic Discharge on the Structural Connectivity of the Developing Brain

2017-08-31 20:23:22 | BioPortfolio


Focal epilepsy is associated with widespread alterations in structural brain connectivity, often present at the disease onset and related to learning disabilities. Whether ongoing seizure activity contributes to network pathology is a matter of debate. This study intends to measure the impact of seizures on structural connectivity on a local and on a global level. In children examined with intracerebral electrodes to evaluate whether a surgical cure can be proposed, we combine intracerebral stereotactic electroencephalography (EEG) recordings with diffusion weighted imaging of white matter fibers. On the local level, we quantify the number of deficient connections in the seizure onset zone. On a global level, we compare the white matter fibers of the left and right hemisphere to probe whether physiological language lateralization is preserved.


Drug-resistant focal epilepsy is a debilitating disease as it is often accompanied by learning disabilities and behavioral disorders, that can be present at the disease onset and have ample repercussions on the child's quality of life.

Despite a focal onset of seizures, the dysfunction of the cerebral networks is diffuse. Structural brain connectivity can be measured with diffusion tractography, which has shown evidence of widespread network pathology in focal epilepsy, probably explaining the associated learning disabilities. Whether ongoing seizure activity further modifies network wiring and possibly generates abnormal pathways along the routes of seizure propagation is a matter of debate.

Our study intends to probe the effect of seizures on cerebral connectivity, both on a local and on a global level. Children who undergo presurgical evaluation to probe whether their epilepsy can be cured by surgery are recorded with implanted intracerebral electrodes for clinical purposes. We perform diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging prior to implantation in order to relate tractography measures to seizure recordings. On the local level, intracerebral electroencephalogram (EEG) will be analysed to quantify the intensity of epileptic discharge (the epileptogenicity index) on each electrode contact. Loss of connectivity (or disconnections) is determined with diffusion tractography for each brain region. Then we correlate the degree of epileptogenicity with the number of disconnections.

On a global level, we will quantify all white matter fibers within the language area (Broca's) in the left and the corresponding area in the right hemisphere. The difference between hemispheres yields us the lateralization index. Our secondary outcome probes whether children with focal epilepsy have atypical language organization, as a measure of diffuse changes in brain wiring.

Study Design


Epilepsies, Focal


Electroencephalogram (EEG), Diffusion Tensor imaging, Language assessment


Fondation Ophtalmologique A. de Rothschild


Not yet recruiting


Fondation Ophtalmologique Adolphe de Rothschild

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2017-08-31T20:23:22-0400

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