About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Epilepsy Linked to Certain Physical Brain Structures

by Chrisy Ngilneii on January 22, 2018 at 11:47 AM
Font : A-A+

Epilepsy Linked to Certain Physical Brain Structures

Epilepsy involves differences in the physical structure of the brain. It is associated with thickness and volume differences in the grey matter of several brain regions, according to recent research at the University College London and the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

The largest-ever neuroimaging study of people with epilepsy, published in the journal Brain, shows that epilepsy involves more widespread physical differences than previously assumed, even in types of epilepsy that are typically considered to be more benign if seizures are under control.

Advertisement


The brain abnormalities the researchers identified were subtle, and have not yet been implicated in any loss of function.

"We found differences in brain matter even in common epilepsies that are often considered to be comparatively benign. While we haven't yet assessed the impact of these differences, our findings suggest there's more to epilepsy than we realize, and now we need to do more research to understand the causes of these differences," said the study's lead author, Professor Sanjay Sisodiya (UCL Institute of Neurology & Epilepsy Society).
Advertisement

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects 0.6-1.5 percent of the global population, comprising many different syndromes and conditions, and defined by a tendency for seizures.

The study was conducted by the global ENIGMA-Epilepsy consortium, part of ENIGMA which is headquartered at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, and pooled data from 24 research centers across Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia. Structural brain measures were extracted from MRI brain scans of 2,149 people with epilepsy, and compared with 1,727 healthy controls. The epilepsy group was analyzed together for common patterns, and divided into four subgroups to identify differences.

The team found reduced grey matter thickness in parts of the brain's outer layer (cortex) and reduced volume in subcortical brain regions in all epilepsy groups when compared to the control group. Reduced volume and thickness were associated with longer duration of epilepsy. Notably, people with epilepsy exhibited lower volume in the right thalamus - a region which relays sensory and motor signals, and has previously only been associated with certain epilepsies - and reduced thickness in the motor cortex, which controls the body's movement.

These patterns were even present among people with idiopathic generalized epilepsies, a type of epilepsy characterized by a lack of any noticeable changes in the brain, such that typically an experienced neuroradiologist would not be able to see anything unusual in their brain scans.

"Some of the differences we found were so subtle they could only be detected due to the large sample size that provided us with very robust, detailed data," said the study's first author, Dr Christopher Whelan (Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute at the Keck School of Medicine of USC & Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland).

The researchers also identified differences between the subgroups, which they say must reflect differences in underlying biology, as suggested by recent genetic studies.

"We have identified a common neuroanatomical signature of epilepsy, across multiple epilepsy types. We found that structural changes are present in multiple brain regions, which informs our understanding of epilepsy as a network disorder," Dr Whelan said.

The authors say their findings need to be followed up by longitudinal and genetic studies which could clarify the cause of the structural differences.

"From our study, we cannot tell whether the structural brain differences are caused by seizures, or perhaps an initial insult to the brain, or other consequences of seizures - nor do we know how this might progress over time. But by identifying these patterns, we are developing a neuroanatomical map showing which brain measures are key for further studies that could improve our understanding and treatment of the epilepsies," said Professor Sisodiya.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
Woman with Rare Spinal Cord Defect from Birth Sues Doctor
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Epilepsy Parkinsons Disease Parkinsons Disease Surgical Treatment Febrile Fits / Febrile Convulsions Brain Brain Facts Ataxia Reye’s Syndrome Convulsions Language Areas in The Brain 

Recommended Reading
Epilepsy
Fits or convulsions or Epilepsy is characterized by recurrent, involuntary seizures and is ......
Epilepsy During Pregnancy
Seizures or epilepsy during pregnancy can be fatal for both the mother and child and needs urgent .....
Absence Seizure
Absence seizure (petit mal epilepsy) involves sudden lapse in consciousness and staring blankly ......
Sleep Disorders Associated with Epilepsy
Epilepsy and sleep disorders have a profound effect on each other. Epileptic seizures can disturb .....
Ataxia
Ataxia affects coordination. Gait becomes unstable and the patient loses balance. The cerebellum or ...
Convulsions
Seizure or a convulsion is a result of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. If there are two o...
Febrile Fits / Febrile Convulsions
High fever in kids can cause convulsions and are called febrile fits that do not include the seizure...
Language Areas in The Brain
The mechanism of how human brain processes the language to express and comprehend the verbal, writte...
Parkinsons Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease caused by progressive dopamine brain cells loss. ...
Reye’s Syndrome
Reye's syndrome is a medical emergency chiefly affecting children and teenagers and is marked by the...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use