Objective: We tested the hypothesis that the cortical areas with abnormal local EEG synchronization are dissimilar in the three common idiopathic generalized epilepsy (IGE) phenotypes: IGE patients with absence seizures (ABS), juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) and epilepsy with generalized tonic-clonic seizures exclusively (EGTCS). Patients and methods: Groups of unmedicated ABS, JME and EGTCS patients were investigated. Waking EEG background activity (without any epileptiform potentials) was analyzed by a source localization method, LORETA (Low Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography). Each patient group was compared to a separate, age-matched group of healthy control persons. Voxel-based, normalized broad-band (delta, theta, alpha, and beta) and very narrow band (VNB, 1Hz bandwidth, from 1 to 25Hz) LORETA activity (=current source density, A/m2) were computed for each person. Group comparison included subtraction (average patient data minus average control data) and group statistics (multiple t-tests, where Bonferroni-corrected p<0.05 values were accepted as statistically significant). Results: Statistically not significant main findings were: overall increased delta and theta broad band activity in the ABS and JME groups; decrease of alpha and beta activity in the EGTCS group. Statistically significant main findings were as follows. JME group: bilaterally increased theta activity in posterior (temporal, parietal, and occipital) cortical areas; bilaterally increased activity in the medial and basal prefrontal area in the 8. Hz VNB; bilaterally decreased activity in the precuneus, posterior cingulate and superior parietal lobule in the 11. Hz and 21-22. Hz VNBs. ABS group: bilaterally increased theta activity emerged in the basal prefrontal and medial temporal limbic areas. Decreased activity was found at 19-21. Hz in the right postcentral gyrus and parts of the right superior and medial temporal gyri. EGTCS group: decreased activity was found in the frontal cortex and the postcentral gyrus at 10-11. Hz, increased activity in the right parahippocampal gyrus at 16-18. Hz. Discussion: Increased theta activity in the posterior parts of the cortex is the endophenotype for JME. Increased theta activity in the fronto-temporal limbic areas is the endophenotype for ABS. Statistically not significant findings might indicate diffuse biochemical abnormality of the cortex in JME and ABS. Significance: EEG-LORETA endophenotypes may correspond to the selective propensity to generate absence and myoclonic seizures in the ABS and JME syndromes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology