State dependent properties of epileptic brain networks: comparative graph-theoretical analyses of simultaneously recorded EEG and MEG

Clin Neurophysiol. 2010 Feb;121(2):172-85. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2009.10.013. Epub 2009 Dec 31.


Objective: To investigate whether functional brain networks of epilepsy patients treated with antiepileptic medication differ from networks of healthy controls even during the seizure-free interval.

Methods: We applied different rules to construct binary and weighted networks from EEG and MEG data recorded under a resting-state eyes-open and eyes-closed condition from 21 epilepsy patients and 23 healthy controls. The average shortest path length and the clustering coefficient served as global statistical network characteristics.

Results: Independent on the behavioral condition, epileptic brains exhibited a more regular functional network structure. Similarly, the eyes-closed condition was characterized by a more regular functional network structure in both groups. The amount of network reorganization due to behavioral state changes was similar in both groups. Consistent findings could be achieved for networks derived from EEG but hardly from MEG recordings, and network construction rules had a rather strong impact on our findings.

Conclusions: Despite the locality of the investigated processes epileptic brain networks differ in their global characteristics from non-epileptic brain networks. Further methodological developments are necessary to improve the characterization of disturbed and normal functional networks.

Significance: An increased regularity and a diminished modulation capability appear characteristic of epileptic brain networks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology
  • Electroencephalography / methods*
  • Epilepsy / diagnosis
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Humans
  • Magnetoencephalography / methods*
  • Male
  • Mathematical Computing
  • Mathematical Concepts
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Net / physiopathology*
  • Neural Networks, Computer
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted*