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Keywords:

  • Independent component analysis;
  • Seed-based voxel correlation;
  • Primary generalized epilepsy;
  • Dual regression;
  • Resting-state functional connectivity;
  • Valproic acid

Summary

Purpose

Idiopathic generalized epilepsy (IGE) resistant to treatment is common, but its neuronal correlates are not entirely understood. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine resting-state default mode network (DMN) functional connectivity in patients with treatment-resistant IGE.

Methods

Treatment resistance was defined as continuing seizures despite an adequate dose of valproic acid (valproate, VPA). Data from 60 epilepsy patients and 38 healthy controls who underwent simultaneous electroencephalography (EEG) and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) were included (EEG/fMRI). Independent component analysis (ICA) and dual regression were used to quantify DMN connectivity. Confirmatory analysis using seed-based voxel correlation was performed.

Key Findings

There was a significant reduction of DMN connectivity in patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy when compared to patients who were treatment responsive and healthy controls. Connectivity was negatively correlated with duration of epilepsy.

Significance

Our findings in this large sample of patients with IGE indicate the presence of reduced DMN connectivity in IGE and show that connectivity is further reduced in treatment-resistant epilepsy. DMN connectivity may be useful as a biomarker for treatment resistance.