Neural Connectivity in Epilepsy as Measured by Granger Causality

  • Coben R
  • Mohammad-Rezazadeh I
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Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder characterized by repeated seizures or excessive electrical discharges in a group of brain cells. Prevalence rates include about 50 million people worldwide and 10% of all people have at least one seizure at one time in their lives. Connectivity models of epilepsy serve to provide a deeper understanding of the processes that control and regulate seizure activity. These models have received initial support and have included measures of EEG, MEG, and MRI connectivity. Preliminary findings have shown regions of increased connectivity in the immediate regions surrounding the seizure foci and associated low connectivity in nearby regions and pathways. There is also early evidence to suggest that these patterns change during ictal events and that these changes may even by related to the occurrence or triggering of seizure events. We present data showing how Granger causality can be used with EEG data to measure connectivity across brain regions involved in ictal events and their resolution. We have provided two case examples as a demonstration of how to obtain and interpret such data. EEG data of ictal events are processed, converted to independent components and their dipole localizations, and these are used to measure causality and connectivity between these locations. Both examples have shown hypercoupling near the seizure foci and low causality across nearby and associated neuronal pathways. This technique also allows us to track how these measures change over time and during the ictal and post-ictal periods. Areas for further research into this technique, its application to epilepsy, and the formation of more effective therapeutic interventions are recommended.

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  • Robert Coben

  • Iman Mohammad-Rezazadeh

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