Epileptogenic neocortical networks are revealed by abnormal temporal dynamics in seizure-free subdural EEG

Cereb Cortex. 2007 Jun;17(6):1386-93. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhl049. Epub 2006 Aug 14.


Long-term video electroencephalographic (EEG) recording is currently a routine procedure in the presurgical evaluation of localization-related epilepsies. Cortical epileptogenic zone is usually localized from ictal recordings with intracranial electrodes, causing a significant burden to patients and health care. Growing literature suggests that epileptogenic networks exhibit aberrant dynamics also during seizure-free periods. We examined if neocortical epileptogenic regions can be circumscribed by quantifying local long-range temporal (auto-)correlations (LRTC) with detrended fluctuation analysis of seizure-free ongoing subdural EEG activity in 4 frequency bands in 5 patients. We show here with subdural EEG recordings that the LRTC are abnormally strong near the seizure onset area. This effect was most salient in neocortical oscillations in the beta frequency band (14-30 Hz). Moreover, lorazepam, a widely used antiepileptic drug, exerted contrasting effects on LRTC (n = 2): lorazepam attenuated beta-band LRTC near the epileptic focus, whereas it strengthened LRTC in other cortical areas. Our findings demonstrate that interictal neuronal network activity near the focus of seizure onset has pathologically strong intrinsic temporal correlations. The observed effect by lorazepam on beta-band activity suggests that the antiepileptic mechanism of benzodiazepines may be related to the normalization of LRTC within the epileptic focus. We propose that this method may become a promising candidate for routine invasive and noninvasive presurgical localization of epileptic foci.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anticonvulsants / administration & dosage
  • Beta Rhythm / instrumentation
  • Beta Rhythm / methods*
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Electrodes, Implanted*
  • Epilepsy / diagnosis*
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology*
  • Epilepsy / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lorazepam / administration & dosage
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neocortex / physiopathology*
  • Preoperative Care
  • Reaction Time / drug effects
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Subdural Space


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Lorazepam