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Michael R. Levitt, Jeffrey G. Ojemann, and John Kuratani

The insular cortex is an uncommon epileptogenic location from which complex partial seizures may arise. Seizure activity in insular epilepsy may mimic temporal, parietal, or other cortical areas. Semiology, electroencephalography, and even surface electrocorticography recordings may falsely localize other cortical foci, leading to inaccurate diagnosis and treatment. The use of insular depth electrodes allows more precise localization of seizure foci. The authors describe the case of a young girl with seizures falsely localized to the cortex, with foci arising from the insula, as proven by depth electrode recordings. Resection of the insula yielded seizure control.

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Ali H. Mesiwala, John D. Kuratani, Anthony M. Avellino, Theodore S. Roberts, Marcio A. Sotero, and Richard G. Ellenbogen

✓ The issue of whether seizures can arise in the cerebellum remains controversial. The authors present the first known case of focal subcortical epilepsy with secondary generalization thought to arise from a dysplastic lesion within the cerebellum. A newborn infant presented with daily episodes of left eye blinking, stereotyped extremity movements, postural arching, and intermittent altered consciousness lasting less than 1 minute. These episodes began on his 1st day of life and progressively increased in frequency to more than 100 events per day. Antiepileptic medications had no effect, and interictal and ictal scalp electroencephalography (EEG) recordings demonstrated bilateral electrical abnormalities. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a mass in the left cerebellar hemisphere, and ictal and interictal single-photon emission computerized tomography revealed a focal perfusion abnormality in the region of the cerebellar mass. The patient subsequently underwent intraoperative EEG monitoring with cortical scalp electrodes and cerebellar depth electrodes. Intraoperative EEG recordings revealed focal seizure discharges that arose in the region of the cerebellar mass and influenced electrographic activity in both cerebral hemispheres. Resection of this mass and the left cerebellar hemisphere led to complete resolution of the patient's seizures and normalization of the scalp EEG readings. Neuropathological findings in this mass were consistent with ganglioglioma. A review of the literature on the cerebellar origins of epilepsy is included.

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Sandra L. Poliachik, Andrew V. Poliakov, Laura A. Jansen, Sharon S. McDaniel, Carter D. Wray, John Kuratani, Russell P. Saneto, Jeffrey G. Ojemann, and Edward J. Novotny Jr


Imaging-guided surgery (IGS) systems are widely used in neurosurgical practice. During epilepsy surgery, the authors routinely use IGS landmarks to localize intracranial electrodes and/or specific brain regions. The authors have developed a technique to coregister these landmarks with pre- and postoperative scans and the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) standard space brain MRI to allow 1) localization and identification of tissue anatomy; and 2) identification of Brodmann areas (BAs) of the tissue resected during epilepsy surgery. Tracking tissue in this fashion allows for better correlation of patient outcome to clinical factors, functional neuroimaging findings, and pathological characteristics and molecular studies of resected tissue.


Tissue samples were collected in 21 patients. Coordinates from intraoperative tissue localization were downloaded from the IGS system and transformed into patient space, as defined by preoperative high-resolution T1-weighted MRI volume. Tissue landmarks in patient space were then transformed into MNI standard space for identification of the BAs of the tissue samples.


Anatomical locations of resected tissue were identified from the intraoperative resection landmarks. The BAs were identified for 17 of the 21 patients. The remaining patients had abnormal brain anatomy that could not be meaningfully coregistered with the MNI standard brain without causing extensive distortion.


This coregistration and landmark tracking technique allows localization of tissue that is resected from patients with epilepsy and identification of the BAs for each resected region. The ability to perform tissue localization allows investigators to relate preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative functional and anatomical brain imaging to better understand patient outcomes, improve patient safety, and aid in research.

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Hillary A. Shurtleff, Dwight Barry, Timothy Firman, Molly H. Warner, Rafael L. Aguilar-Estrada, Russell P. Saneto, John D. Kuratani, Richard G. Ellenbogen, Edward J. Novotny, and Jeffrey G. Ojemann


Outcomes of focal resection in young children with early-onset epilepsy are varied in the literature due to study differences. In this paper, the authors sought to define the effect of focal resection in a small homogeneous sample of children who were otherwise cognitively intact, but who required early surgical treatment. Preservation of and age-appropriate development of intelligence following focal resection was hypothesized.


Cognitive outcome after focal resection was retrospectively reviewed for 15 cognitively intact children who were operated on at the ages of 2–6 years for lesion-related, early-onset epilepsy. Intelligence was tested prior to and after surgery. Effect sizes and confidence intervals for means and standard deviations were used to infer changes and differences in intelligence between 1) groups (pre vs post), 2) left versus right hemisphere resections, and 3) short versus long duration of seizures prior to resection.


No group changes from baseline occurred in Full Scale, verbal, or nonverbal IQ. No change from baseline intelligence occurred in children who underwent left or right hemisphere surgery, including no group effect on verbal scores following surgery in the dominant hemisphere. Patients with seizure durations of less than 6 months prior to resection showed improvement from their presurgical baseline in contrast to those with seizure duration of greater than 6 months prior to surgery, particularly in Wechsler Full Scale IQ and nonverbal intelligence.


This study suggests that surgical treatment of focal seizures in cognitively intact preschool children is likely to result in seizure remediation, antiepileptic drug discontinuation, and no significant decrement in intelligence. The latter finding is particularly significant in light of the longstanding concern associated with performing resections in the language-dominant hemisphere. Importantly, shorter seizure duration prior to resection can result in improved cognitive outcome, suggesting that surgery for this population should occur sooner to help improve intelligence outcomes.