The electrophysiological "delayed effect" of focal interictal epileptiform discharges. A low resolution electromagnetic tomography (LORETA) study

Béla Clemens, Pálma Piros, Mónika Bessenyei, Edit Varga, Szilvia Puskás, István Fekete

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


Collating the findings regarding the role of focal interictal epileptiform discharges (IEDs) on CNS functions raises the possibility that IEDs might have negative impact that outlasts the duration of the spike-and-wave complexes. The aim of this study was the electrophysiological demonstration of the "delayed effect" of the IEDs. 19-channel, linked-ears referenced, digital waking EEG records of 11 children (aged 6-14 years, eight with idiopathic, three with cryptogenic focal epilepsy, showing a single spike focus) were retrospectively selected from our database. A minimum of 20 (preferably, 30), 2-s epochs containing a single focal spike-and-wave complex were selected (Spike epochs). Thereafter, Postspike-1 (Ps1), Postspike-2 (Ps2) and Postspike-3 (Ps3) epochs were selected, representing the first and second seconds (Ps1), the third and fourth seconds (Ps2) and the fifth and sixth seconds (Ps3) after the Spike epoch, respectively. Interspike epochs (Is) were selected at a distance at least 10 s after the Spike epoch. Individual analysis: the frequency of interest (FOI = the individual frequency of the wave component of the IEDs), and the region of interest (ROI = the site of the IEDs) were identified by reading the raw EEG waveform and the instant power spectrum. Very narrow band LORETA (low resolution electromagnetic tomography) analysis at the FOI and ROI was carried out. Age-adjusted, Z-transformed LORETA "activity" (=current source density, ampers/meters squared) was compared in the Spike, Ps1, Ps2, Ps3 and Is epochs. Findings: the greatest (uppermost pathological) Z-scores and the greatest spatial extension of the LORETA-abnormality were always found in the Spike epochs, followed by the gradual decrease of activity in terms of severity and spatial extension in the Ps1, Ps2, Ps3 epochs. The lowest (baseline) level and extension of the abnormality was found in the Is epochs. Group analysis: average values of activity across the patients were computed for the temporal decrease of the abnormality. Findings: a clear tendency for the decrease of abnormality was demonstrated. Conclusion: the "delayed effect" of the IEDs was demonstrated electrophysiologically and quantified. The method may be utilized in the individual assessment of the effect of IEDs on cortical activity, the degree and temporo-spatial extension of the abnormality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-278
Number of pages9
JournalEpilepsy Research
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2009


  • Delayed effect of the spike
  • EEG
  • Epilepsy
  • Spike

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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