Functional magnetic resonance imaging of human absence seizures

Ann Neurol. 2003 May;53(5):663-7. doi: 10.1002/ana.10586.


We studied a patient with idiopathic generalized epilepsy and frequent absences, using electroencephalogram-correlated functional magnetic resonance imaging. Four prolonged runs of generalized spike-wave discharge occurred during a 35-minute experiment. Time-locked activation was observed bilaterally within the thalami in conjunction with widespread but symmetrical cortical deactivation with a frontal maximum. We demonstrate the reciprocal participation of focal thalamic and widespread cortical networks during human absence seizures and suggest reductions in cortical blood flow, in response to synchronized electroencephalogram activity.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / blood supply
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy, Absence / diagnosis
  • Epilepsy, Absence / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Nerve Net / blood supply
  • Nerve Net / pathology
  • Thalamus / blood supply
  • Thalamus / pathology