Large-scale mGluR5 network abnormalities linked to epilepsy duration in focal cortical dysplasia

Neuroimage Clin. 2021;29:102552. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2020.102552. Epub 2020 Dec 29.


To determine the extent of metabotropic glutamate receptor type 5 (mGluR5) network abnormalities associated with focal cortical dysplasia (FCD), we performed graph theoretical analysis of [11C]ABP688 PET binding potentials (BPND), which allows for quantification of mGluR5 availability. Undirected graphs were constructed for the entire cortex in 17 FCD patients and 33 healthy controls using inter-regional similarity of [11C]ABP688 BPND. We assessed group differences in network integration between healthy controls and the ipsilateral and contralateral hemispheres of FCD patients. Compared to healthy controls, FCD patients showed reduced network efficiency and reduced small-world connectivity. The mGluR5 network of FCD patients was also less resilient to targeted removal of high centrality nodes, suggesting a less integrated network organization. In highly efficient hub nodes of FCD patients, we observed a significant negative correlation between local efficiency and duration of epilepsy only in the contralateral hemisphere, suggesting that some nodes may be more vulnerable to persistent epileptic activity. Our study provides the first in vivo evidence for a widespread reduction in cortical mGluR5 network integration in FCD patients. In addition, we find that ongoing epileptic activity may alter chemoarchitectural brain organization resulting in reduced efficiency in distant regions that are essential for network integration.

Keywords: Epilepsy; FCD; Network; PET; mGluR5.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Carbon Radioisotopes
  • Epilepsy* / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Malformations of Cortical Development* / diagnostic imaging
  • Positron-Emission Tomography


  • Carbon Radioisotopes