Silent hippocampal seizures and spikes identified by foramen ovale electrodes in Alzheimer's disease

Nat Med. 2017 Jun;23(6):678-680. doi: 10.1038/nm.4330. Epub 2017 May 1.


We directly assessed mesial temporal activity using intracranial foramen ovale electrodes in two patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) without a history or EEG evidence of seizures. We detected clinically silent hippocampal seizures and epileptiform spikes during sleep, a period when these abnormalities were most likely to interfere with memory consolidation. The findings in these index cases support a model in which early development of occult hippocampal hyperexcitability may contribute to the pathogenesis of AD.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / complications
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology*
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Electrodes
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Foramen Ovale
  • Hippocampus / diagnostic imaging
  • Hippocampus / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Memory Consolidation
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Seizures / complications
  • Seizures / physiopathology*
  • Sleep*