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Effects of anterior temporal lobe resection on cortical morphology

Lookup NU author(s): Karoline Leiberg, Dr Beth LittleORCiD, Dr Peter TaylorORCiD, Dr Yujiang WangORCiD



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


Neuroimaging can capture brain restructuring after anterior temporal lobe resection (ATLR), a surgical procedure to treat drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Here, we examine the effects of this surgery on brain morphology measured in recently-proposed independent variables.We studied 101 individuals with TLE (55 left, 46 right onset) who underwent ATLR. For each individual we considered one pre-surgical MRI and one follow-up MRI 2–13 months after surgery. We used a surface-based method to locally compute traditional morphological variables, and the independent measures K, I, and S, where K measures white matter tension, I captures isometric scaling, and S contains the remaining information about cortical shape. A normative model trained on data from 924 healthy controls was used to debias the data and account for healthy ageing effects occurring during scans. A SurfStat random field theory clustering approach assessed changes across the cortex caused by ATLR.Compared to preoperative data, surgery had marked effects on all morphological measures. Ipsilateral effects were located in the orbitofrontal and inferior frontal gyri, the pre- and postcentral gyri and supramarginal gyrus, and the lateral occipital gyrus and lingual cortex. Contralateral effects were in the lateral occipital gyrus, and inferior frontal gyrus and frontal pole.The restructuring following ATLR is reflected in widespread morphological changes, mainly in regions near the resection, but also remotely in regions that are structurally connected to the anterior temporal lobe. The causes could include mechanical effects, Wallerian degeneration, or compensatory plasticity. The study of independent measures revealed additional effects compared to traditional measures.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Leiberg K, de Tisi J, Duncan JS, Little B, Taylor PN, Vos SB, Winston GP, Mota B, Wang Y

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Cortex

Year: 2023

Volume: 166

Pages: 233-242

Print publication date: 01/09/2023

Online publication date: 08/06/2023

Acceptance date: 16/04/2023

Date deposited: 08/11/2023

ISSN (print): 0010-9452

ISSN (electronic): 1973-8102

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/j.cortex.2023.04.018

Notes: Temporal lobe epilepsyCortical morphologyStructural MRIEpilepsy surgery


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Funder referenceFunder name
CNPq (PQ 2017 312837/2017-8)
Fundação Serrapilheira Institute (grant Serra-1709-16981)
MRC G0802012