Various functional imaging tools have been used to detect epileptic activity in the neural network underlying mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (mTLE). In the present fMRI study, a data-driven approach was employed to map interictal epileptic activity in mTLE patients by measuring the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF) of the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal. Twenty-four left mTLE patients and 26 right mTLE patients were investigated by comparing with 25 healthy subjects. In the patients, the regions showing increased ALFF were consistently distributed in the mesial temporal lobe, thalamus, and a few of other cortical and subcortical structures composing a mesial temporal epilepsy network proposed previously, while the regions showing decreased ALFF were mostly located in the areas of so-called default-mode network. Data of simultaneous EEG-fMRI from a portion of the patients suggested that the increases in ALFF might be associated with the interictal epileptic activity. Individual analyses based on statistic parametric mapping revealed a moderate sensitivity and a fairly high specificity for the lateralization of unilateral mTLE. We conclude that the ALFF analysis may provide a useful tool in fMRI study of epilepsy.
Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.