Microstructural alterations of the putamen were recently reported in patients with partial and generalized epilepsy disorders. However, it is unknown whether these alterations pre-exist or are secondary to recurrent seizures. Here we investigated the progression of putamen fractional anisotropy (FA) alterations in a case of recurrent psychomotor seizures using longitudinal diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) shortly before (DTI-1) and after a psychomotor seizure (DTI-2). We obtained FA values of a hypothesis-guided putamen region-of-interest (ROI) and seven exploratory ROIs. FA values from both DTIs were compared with reference values from 19 controls. Relative to controls, the patient's putamen FA was increased at DTI-1 (13% left putamen, 7% right putamen), an effect that was exacerbated at DTI-2 (24% left putamen (p<0.05), 20% right putamen). In the exploratory ROIs we found FA reductions in the corticospinal tract, temporal lobe, and occipital lobe (p<0.05) relative to controls at DTI-1 and DTI-2. In contrast to the putamen, all exploratory ROIs showed no relevant FA change between DTI-1 and DTI-2. These results suggest that recurrent seizures may lead to progressive microstructural putamen alterations.
Copyright © 2012 British Epilepsy Association. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.