Graph theory in paediatric epilepsy: A systematic review

Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2022 Jun 1;23(1):3-13. doi: 10.1080/19585969.2022.2043128. eCollection 2021.


Graph theoretical studies have been designed to investigate network topologies during life. Network science and graph theory methods may contribute to a better understanding of brain function, both normal and abnormal, throughout developmental stages. The degree to which childhood epilepsies exert a significant effect on brain network organisation and cognition remains unclear. The hypothesis suggests that the formation of abnormal networks associated with epileptogenesis early in life causes a disruption in normal brain network development and cognition, reflecting abnormalities in later life. Neurological diseases with onset during critical stages of brain maturation, including childhood epilepsy, may threaten this orderly neurodevelopmental process. According to the hypothesis that the formation of abnormal networks associated with epileptogenesis in early life causes a disruption in normal brain network development, it is then mandatory to perform a proper examination of children with new-onset epilepsy early in the disease course and a deep study of their brain network organisation over time. In regards, graph theoretical analysis could add more information. In order to facilitate further development of graph theory in childhood, we performed a systematic review to describe its application in functional dynamic connectivity using electroencephalographic (EEG) analysis, focussing on paediatric epilepsy.

Keywords: Graph theory; brain network; childhood; paediatric epilepsy.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Mapping* / methods
  • Brain* / growth & development
  • Brain* / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Cognition
  • Electroencephalography* / methods
  • Epilepsy* / complications
  • Epilepsy* / diagnostic imaging
  • Epilepsy* / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Nerve Net* / growth & development
  • Nerve Net* / physiopathology
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders / etiology
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders / physiopathology