• EEG-fMRI;
  • CAE;
  • functional connectivity;
  • interictal GSWDs;
  • resting state


Purpose: To investigate the intrinsic brain connections at the time of interictal generalized spike-wave discharges (GSWDs) to understand their mechanism of effect on brain function in untreated childhood absence epilepsy (CAE). Methods: The EEG-functional MRI (fMRI) was used to measure the resting state functional connectivity during interictal GSWDs in drug-naïve CAE, and three different brain networks—the default mode network (DMN), cognitive control network (CCN), and affective network (AN)—were investigated. Results: Cross-correlation functional connectivity analysis with priori seed revealed decreased functional connectivity within each of these three networks in the CAE patients during interictal GSWDS. It included precuneus-dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC), and inferior parietal lobule in the DMN; DLPFC-inferior frontal junction (IFJ), and pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA) subregions connectivity disruption in CCN; ACC-ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) and DMPFC in AN; There were also some regions, primarily the parahippcampus, paracentral in AN, and the left frontal mid orb in the CCN, which showed increased connectivity. Conclusions: The current findings demonstrate significant alterations of resting-state networks in drug naïve CAE subjects during interictal GSWDs and interictal GSWDs can cause dysfunction in specific networks important for psychosocial function. Impairment of these networks may cause deficits both during and between seizures. Our study may contribute to the understanding of neuro-pathophysiological mechanism of psychosocial function impairments in patients with CAE. Hum Brain Mapp, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.