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Objectives: To identify the specific change of white matter integrity that occurs in the brain network related to epileptic activity in patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE). Methods: We recruited 18 patients with MTLE and 18 healthy subjects. In MTLE patients, the remote functional-deficit zone was delineated using fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography as an extratemporal region showing glucose hypometabolism. Using diffusion magnetic resonance imaging tractography, we defined a seizure propagation tract (PT) as a white matter pathway that connects the focus with a remote functional deficit zone. We also used the corticospinal tract (CST) and inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF) as control tracts in the hemisphere ipsilateral to the focus. Fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), and volume of the tracts were compared among PT, CST, and ILF. Results: Tractographic analysis identified the uncinate fasciculus, arcuate fasciculus, and fornix as PTs. A decrease in FA was found in MTLE patients compared with healthy subjects in all tracts, but PTs showed a more significant decrease in FA than did the two control tracts. Although the change in MD was also found in MTLE patients compared with healthy controls, a tract-specific change was not observed. Although white-matter damage was observed in all candidate tracts examined, the integrity of white matter was most significantly decreased in PTs in MTLE. Conclusion: The change in white matter integrity occurs specifically in the pathways that connect the focus and remote functional deficit zones in patients with MTLE, i.e., the pathways that are assume to be associated with seizure propagation.


  • Epilepsy Research

    Epilepsy Research (120), 65-72, 2016-02-01

    Elsevier B.V.


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