Simultaneous EEG and fMRI recordings (EEG-fMRI) in children with epilepsy

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Summary

By combining electroencephalography (EEG) with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) it is possible to describe blood oxygenation level–dependent (BOLD) signal changes related to EEG patterns. This way, EEG-pattern–associated networks of hemodynamic changes can be detected anywhere in the brain with good spatial resolution. This review summarizes EEG-fMRI studies that have been performed in children with epilepsy. EEG-fMRI studies in focal epilepsy (structural and nonlesional cases, benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes), generalized epilepsy (especially absence epilepsy), and epileptic encephalopathies (West syndrome, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, continuous spike and waves during slow sleep, and Dravet syndrome) are presented. Although EEG-fMRI was applied mainly to localize the region presumably generating focal interictal discharges in focal epilepsies, EEG-fMRI identified underlying networks in patients with generalized epilepsies and thereby contributed to a better understanding of these epilepsies. In epileptic encephalopathies a specific fingerprint of hemodynamic changes associated with the particular syndrome was detected. The value of the EEG-fMRI technique for diagnosis and investigation of pathogenetic mechanisms of different forms of epilepsy is discussed.

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