Introduction: In order to explore the mechanism of action of valproate (VPA) in idiopathic generalized epilepsy (IGE), the effect of VPA on cortical EEG activity was investigated. Hypothesis: VPA decreases EEG synchronization in the delta and theta frequency bands in a use-dependent manner in IGE patients. Methods: First setting: EEG records of 17 untreated IGE patients (NAE group) were analyzed and compared to those of 15 healthy controls (NC group). Second setting: EEG recorded in the untreated condition (NAE) was compared to the EEG recorded in the treated condition (VPA) of the patient group. Technique and analysis: 2 min of eyes-closed, waking EEG background activity (without epileptiform potentials and artifacts) were analyzed. Absolute power (AP) and mean frequency (MF) were computed for 19 electrodes and four frequency bands (δ = 1.5-3.5 Hz, θ = 3.5-7.5 Hz, α = 7.5-12.5 Hz, β = 12.5-25.0 Hz). Log-transformed data entered further analysis. Group differences were computed by means of parametric statistics including correction for multiple comparisons. The VPA-related changes (APvpa - APnae) were correlated with the degree of the baseline abnormality (APnae) and the daily dose/serum levels of VPA. Main results: Statistically significant (p < 0.05, corrected) changes in the first setting: diffuse delta, theta, alpha AP increase, mainly right hemispheric beta AP increase was found in the NAE group, as compared to the NC group. Second setting: VPA decreased delta and theta AP. Strong correlation was demonstrated between the degree of the initial AP abnormality and the VPA-related AP decrease. AP decrease did not correlate with the daily dose and the serum level of the drug. Conclusion: The hypothesis that VPA decreased EEG synchronization in the delta and theta frequency bands in a use-dependent manner was supported. The findings contribute to the understanding of the action of VPA at the network level.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology