Jorge A. González-Martínez, William E. Bingaman, Steven A. Toms and Imad M. Najm
The normal adult human telencephalon does not reveal evidence of spontaneous neuronal migration and differentiation despite the robust germinal capacity of the subventricular zone (SVZ) astrocyte ribbon that contains neural stem cells. This might be because it is averse to accepting new neurons into an established neuronal network, probably representing an evolutionary acquisition to prevent the formation of anomalous neuronal circuits. Some forms of epilepsy, such as malformations of cortical development, are thought to be due to abnormal corticogenesis during the embryonic and early postnatal periods. The role of postnatal architectural reorganization and possibly postnatal neurogenesis in some forms of epilepsy in humans remains unknown. In this study the authors used resected specimens of epileptic brain to determine whether neurogenesis could occur in the diseased tissue.
The authors studied freshly resected brain tissue obtained in 47 patients who underwent neurosurgical procedures and four autopsies. Forty-four samples were harvested in patients who underwent resection for the treatment of pharmacoresistant epilepsy.
Using organotypic brain slice preparations cultured with 5-bromodeoxyuridine (a marker for cell proliferation), immunohistochemistry, and cell trackers, the authors demonstrate the presence of spontaneous cell proliferation, migration, and neuronal differentiation in the adult human telencephalon that starts in the SVZ and progresses to the adjacent white matter and neocortex in human neocortical pathological structures associated with epilepsy. No cell migration or neuronal differentiation was found in the control group.
The presence of spontaneous neurogenesis associated with some forms of human neocortical epilepsy may represent an erroneous and maladaptive mechanism for neuronal circuitry repair, or it may be an intrinsic part of the pathogenic process.
Jorge A. González-Martínez, Gabriel Möddel, Zhong Ying, Richard A. Prayson, William E. Bingaman and Imad M. Najm
Nitric oxide has been associated with epileptogenesis. Previous studies have shown increased expression of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) subunit NR2B receptors in epileptic dysplastic human neocortex. The expression of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS), and its relation to this subunit NR2B in epileptic dysplastic tissue has never been addressed.
Ten patients with medically intractable epilepsy caused by focal cortical dysplasia (CD), and 2 patients with mesial temporal sclerosis (control group) underwent pre- and/or intraoperative invasive monitoring evaluations. Cortical samples from epileptogenic and nonepileptogenic areas were collected from each patient intraoperatively. Samples were processed for cresyl violet staining, immunocytochemical tests with nNOS, NeuN, and NR2B, and immunofluorescence analyses to evaluate colocalized immunoreactivity between nNOS and NR2B.
. All samples obtained in the patients with epilepsy revealed CD in various degrees. In the nonepileptic sample group, cresyl violet staining revealed normal cortical architecture in 9 samples, but a mild degree of CD in 3. The density and intensity of nNOS-stained neurons was remarkably increased in the epileptic tissue compared with nonepileptic samples (p < 0.05). Two types of nNOS-stained neurons were identified: Type I, expressing strong nNOS immunoreactivity in larger neurons; and Type II, expressing weak nNOS immunoreactivity in slightly smaller neurons. Different from Type I neurons, Type II nNOS-stained neurons revealed immunoreactivity colocalized with NR2B antibody.
The overexpression of nNOS in the epileptic samples and the immunoreactivity colocalization between nNOS and NR2B may suggest a possible role of nNOS and NO in the pathophysiological mechanisms related to in situ epileptogenicity.
2010 AANS Annual Meeting Philadelphia, Pennsylvania May 1–5, 2010
Robert A. McGovern, Elia Pestana Knight, Ajay Gupta, Ahsan N. V. Moosa, Elaine Wyllie, William E. Bingaman and Jorge Gonzalez-Martinez
The goal in the study was to describe the clinical outcomes associated with robot-assisted stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) in children.
The authors performed a retrospective, single-center study in consecutive children with medically refractory epilepsy who were undergoing robot-assisted SEEG. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was used to calculate the probability of seizure freedom. Both univariate and multivariate methods were used to analyze the preoperative and operative factors associated with seizure freedom.
Fifty-seven children underwent a total of 64 robot-assisted procedures. The patients’ mean age was 12 years, an average of 6.4 antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) per patient had failed prior to implantation, and in 56% of the patients the disease was considered nonlesional. On average, children had 12.4 electrodes placed per implantation, with an implantation time of 9.6 minutes per electrode and a 10-day postoperative stay. SEEG analysis yielded a definable epileptogenic zone in 51 (89%) patients; 42 (74%) patients underwent surgery, half of whom were seizure free at last follow-up, 19.6 months from resection. In a multivariate generalized linear model, resective surgery, older age, and shorter SEEG-related hospital length of stay were associated with seizure freedom. In a Cox proportional hazards model including only the children who underwent resective surgery, older age was the only significant factor associated with seizure freedom. Complications related to bleeding were the major contributors to morbidity. One patient (1.5%) had a symptomatic hemorrhage resulting in a permanent neurological deficit.
The authors report one of the largest pediatric-specific SEEG series demonstrating that the modern surgical management of medically refractory epilepsy in children can lead to seizure freedom in many patients, while also highlighting the challenges posed by this difficult patient population.