Objectives: The goal of this study is to analyze the suppressive interaction of symmetric temporal lobe epileptic foci, assess some failures of epilepsy surgery, and evaluate the possibility of terminating focal seizures with stimulation of symmetric epileptic foci.
Materials and methods: One hundred and twenty-nine intractable epilepsy patients (age range 6-53 years) with bitemporal epileptiform abnormalities in multiple scalp EEGs were evaluated with chronically implanted depth and subdural electrodes. Interelectrode coherence and power spectra were studied using internally developed software.
Results: Bitemporal epileptic foci were found in 85/129 (66%) patients with reciprocal relations between these foci in 57/85 (67%) patients. Temporal lobectomy was performed for 67/85 patients. 12/67 patients became free of seizures (Engel's Class I), 32/67 improved (Classes II and III), and 23/67 did not improve. 14/23 patients demonstrated post-surgical activation of the contralateral temporal lobe epileptic focus. For 8/14 of these patients, the stereotactic cryoamygdalatomy was performed in the temporal lobe contralateral to the first surgery. 5/8 patients became free of seizures. It was found that stimulation of temporal lobe deep epileptic focus may terminate focal seizures in the contralateral symmetric structures.
Conclusion: A mutually suppressive relationship is one of variants of the interaction of symmetric epileptic foci. Some epilepsy surgery failures may be a result of post-surgical activation of the intact focus. The increase of coherence between both temporal lobes before the seizure onset of the seizure suggests the establishment of functional interrelations between two epileptic foci at an early, "hidden" phase of seizures, and may predict the direction of seizure spread. Mutually suppressive interrelations of symmetric epileptic foci might be employed for chronic therapeutic stimulation.