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Connectivity within regions characterizes epilepsy duration and treatment outcome

Lookup NU author(s): Xue Chen, Professor Marcus Kaiser



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2021 The Authors. Human Brain Mapping published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.Finding clear connectome biomarkers for temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) patients, in particular at early disease stages, remains a challenge. Currently, the whole-brain structural connectomes are analyzed based on coarse parcellations (up to 1,000 nodes). However, such global parcellation-based connectomes may be unsuitable for detecting more localized changes in patients. Here, we use a high-resolution network (~50,000-nodes overall) to identify changes at the local level (within brain regions) and test its relation with duration and surgical outcome. Patients with TLE (n = 33) and age-, sex-matched healthy subjects (n = 36) underwent high-resolution (~50,000 nodes) structural network construction based on deterministic tracking of diffusion tensor imaging. Nodes were allocated to 68 cortical regions according to the Desikan–Killany atlas. The connectivity within regions was then used to predict surgical outcome. MRI processing, network reconstruction, and visualization of network changes were integrated into the NICARA ( Lower clustering coefficient and higher edge density were found for local connectivity within regions in patients, but were absent for the global network between regions (68 cortical regions). Local connectivity changes, in terms of the number of changed regions and the magnitude of changes, increased with disease duration. Local connectivity yielded a better surgical outcome prediction (Mean value: 95.39% accuracy, 92.76% sensitivity, and 100% specificity) than global connectivity. Connectivity within regions, compared to structural connectivity between brain regions, can be a more efficient biomarker for epilepsy assessment and surgery outcome prediction of medically intractable TLE.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Chen X, Wang Y, Kopetzky SJ, Butz-Ostendorf M, Kaiser M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Human Brain Mapping

Year: 2021

Volume: 42

Issue: 12

Pages: 3777-3791

Print publication date: 15/08/2021

Online publication date: 11/05/2021

Acceptance date: 26/04/2021

Date deposited: 25/08/2023

ISSN (print): 1065-9471

ISSN (electronic): 1097-0193

Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Inc


DOI: 10.1002/hbm.25464


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Funder referenceFunder name
China Scholarship Council
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities
MR/T004347/1Medical Research Council (MRC)
Medical Research Council
Ruijin Hospital (Shanghai Jiao Tong Univ.)
Wellcome Trust