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Michal M. Andelman-Gur, Tomer Gazit, Fani Andelman, Svetlana Kipervasser, Uri Kramer, Miri Y. Neufeld, Itzhak Fried and Firas Fahoum

OBJECTIVE

Experiential phenomena (EP), such as illusions and complex hallucinations, are vivid experiences created in one’s mind. They can occur spontaneously as epileptic auras or can be elicited by electrical brain stimulation (EBS) in patients undergoing presurgical evaluation for drug-resistant epilepsy. Previous work suggests that EP arise from activation of different nodes within interconnected neural networks mainly in the temporal lobes. Yet, the anatomical extent of these neural networks has not been described and the question of lateralization of EP has not been fully addressed. To this end, an extended number of brain regions in which electrical stimulation elicited EP were studied to test whether there is a lateralization propensity to EP phenomena.

METHODS

A total of 19 drug-resistant focal epilepsy patients who underwent EBS as part of invasive presurgical evaluation and who experienced EP during the stimulation were included. Spatial dispersion of visual and auditory illusions and complex hallucinations in each hemisphere was determined by calculation of Euclidean distances between electrodes and their centroid in common space, based on (x, y, z) Cartesian coordinates of electrode locations.

RESULTS

In total, 5857 stimulation epochs were analyzed; 917 stimulations elicited responses, out of which 130 elicited EP. Complex visual hallucinations were found to be widely dispersed in the right hemisphere, while they were tightly clustered in the occipital lobe of the left hemisphere. Visual illusions were elicited mostly in the occipital lobes bilaterally. Auditory illusions and hallucinations were evoked symmetrically in the temporal lobes.

CONCLUSIONS

These findings suggest that complex visual hallucinations arise from wider spread in the right compared to the left hemisphere, possibly mirroring the asymmetry in the white matter organization of the two hemispheres. These results offer some insights into lateralized differences in functional organization and connectivity that may be important for functional mapping and planning of surgical resections in patients with epilepsy.

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Assaf Berger, Noa Cohen, Firas Fahoum, Mordekhay Medvedovsky, Aaron Meller, Dana Ekstein, Mony Benifla, Orna Aizenstein, Itzhak Fried, Tomer Gazit and Ido Strauss

OBJECTIVE

Preoperative localization of seizure onset zones (SOZs) is an evolving field in the treatment of refractory epilepsy. Both magnetic source imaging (MSI), and the more recent EEG-correlated functional MRI (EEG-fMRI), have shown applicability in assisting surgical planning. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the capability of each method and their combination in localizing the seizure onset lobe (SL).

METHODS

The study included 14 patients who underwent both MSI and EEG-fMRI before undergoing implantation of intracranial EEG (icEEG) as part of the presurgical planning of the resection of an epileptogenic zone (EZ) during the years 2012–2018. The estimated location of the SL by each method was compared with the location determined by icEEG. Identification rates of the SL were compared between the different methods.

RESULTS

MSI and EEG-fMRI showed similar identification rates of SL locations in relation to icEEG results (88% ± 31% and 73% ± 42%, respectively; p = 0.281). The additive use of the coverage lobes of both methods correctly identified 100% of the SL, significantly higher than EEG-fMRI alone (p = 0.039) and nonsignificantly higher than MSI (p = 0.180). False-identification rates of the additive coverage lobes were significantly higher than MSI (p = 0.026) and EEG-fMRI (p = 0.027). The intersecting lobes of both methods showed the lowest false identification rate (13% ± 6%, p = 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

Both MSI and EEG-fMRI can assist in the presurgical evaluation of patients with refractory epilepsy. The additive use of both tests confers a high identification rate in finding the SL. This combination can help in focusing implantation of icEEG electrodes targeting the SOZ.