Dynamic functional connectivity in modular organization of the hippocampal network marks memory phenotypes in temporal lobe epilepsy

Hum Brain Mapp. 2022 Apr 15;43(6):1917-1929. doi: 10.1002/hbm.25763. Epub 2021 Dec 30.


Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is a network disorder with a high incidence of memory impairment. Memory processing ability highly depends on the dynamic coordination between distinct modules within the hippocampal network. Here, we investigate the relationship between memory phenotypes and modular alterations of dynamic functional connectivity (FC) in the hippocampal network in TLE patients. Then, 31 healthy controls and 66 TLE patients with hippocampal sclerosis were recruited. The patients were classified into memory-intact (MI, 35 cases) group and memory-deficit (MD, 31 cases) group, each based on individual's Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised score. The sliding-windows approach and graph theory analysis were used to analyze the hippocampal network based on resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging. Temporal properties and modular metrics were calculated. Two discrete and switchable states were revealed: a high modularized state (State I) and a low modularized state (State II), which corresponded to either anterior or posterior hippocampal network dominated pattern. TLE was prone to drive less State I but more State II, and the tendency was more obvious in TLE-MD. Additionally, TLE-MD showed more widespread alterations of modular properties compared with TLE-MI across two states. Furthermore, the dynamic modularity features had unique superiority in discriminating TLE-MD from TLE-MI. These findings demonstrated that state transitions and modular function of dissociable hippocampal networks were altered in TLE and more importantly, they could reflect different memory phenotypes. The trend revealed potential values of dynamic FC in elucidating the mechanism underlying memory impairments in TLE.

Keywords: MRI; chronic epilepsy; dynamics; hippocampal sclerosis; memory disorder; neuroimaging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe*
  • Hippocampus / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Memory
  • Memory Disorders / diagnostic imaging
  • Memory Disorders / etiology
  • Phenotype