Asymmetry in cross-hippocampal connectivity in unilateral mesial temporal lobe epilepsy

Epilepsy Res. 2015 Dec:118:14-21. doi: 10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2015.10.005. Epub 2015 Oct 28.


Mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (mTLE) is mostly characterized by hippocampal sclerosis (HS) changes. Although considerable progress has been made in understanding the altered functional network of mTLE patients, whether one side of the abnormal hippocampal (HP) structure will affect the other healthy side of the hippocampal network is still unclear. Here, we used a seed-based method to explore the commonly alterative hippocampal network in mTLE patients by comparing the bilateral hippocampal network of unilateral mTLE patients with healthy control participants. We observed that both sides of the hippocampal network in unilateral mTLE patients were changed independent of the affected or "healthy" side, which may suggest a common plasticity network for both sides of hippocampal sclerosis mesial temporal lobe epilepsy patients. Furthermore, using the HP as the ROI, we found that the functional connectivity of the intra-HP in the left mTLE-HS group was moderately positively correlated with the duration of the disease, while a strong negative correlation between functional connectivity of the intra-HP and duration were detected in the right mTLE-HS group, which suggested that it was easier for the right HP than the left HP to communicate with the contralateral HP according to the progression of mTLE disease because the hippocampus plays different roles in the communication and compensatory mechanism associated with the contralateral side of the hemisphere. We hope that this potential relevance may help us to better characterize mTLE with hippocampal sclerosis and ultimately assist in providing a better diagnosis and more accurate invasive treatments of mTLE.

Keywords: Brain plasticity; Hippocampal network; Mesial temporal lobe epilepsy; Resting state functional connectivity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain Mapping
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / pathology*
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Hippocampus / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Young Adult