Spatiotemporal mapping of interictal epileptiform discharges in human absence epilepsy : a MEG study

Y.J.W. Rozendaal, G. van Luijtelaar, P.P.W. Ossenblok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
546 Downloads (Pure)


Although absence epilepsy is considered to be a prototypic type of generalized epilepsy, it is still under debate whether generalized 3 Hz spike-and-wave discharges (SWDs) might have a cortical focal origin. Here it is investigated whether focal interictal epileptiform discharges (IEDs), which typically occur in the electro- (EEG) and magnetoencephalogram (MEG) in case of focal epilepsy, are present in the MEG of children with absence epilepsy. Next, the location of the sources of the IEDs is established, and it is investigated whether the location is concordant to the earlier established focal cortical regions involved in the generalized SWDs of these children.

Whole head MEG recordings of seven children with absence epilepsy were reviewed with respect to the presence of IEDs (spikes and sharp waves). These IEDs were grouped into distinct clusters, in which each contribution to a cluster yields a comparable magnetic field distribution. Source localization was then performed onto the average signal of each cluster using an equivalent current dipole model and a realistic head model of the cortical surface.

IEDs were detected in 6 out of 7 patients. Source reconstruction indicated most often frontal, central or parietal origins of the IED in either the left and or right hemisphere. Spatiotemporal assessment of the IEDs indicated a stable location of the averages of these discharges, indicating a single underlying cortical source.

The outcome of this pilot study shows that MEG is well suited for the detection of IEDs and suggests that their estimated sources coincide rather well with the cortical regions involved during the spikes of the SWDs. It is discussed whether the presence of IEDs, classically seen as a marker of focal epilepsies, indicate that absence epilepsy should be considered as a focal type of epilepsy, in which changes in the network are evolving rapidly.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-76
JournalEpilepsy Research
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016


Dive into the research topics of 'Spatiotemporal mapping of interictal epileptiform discharges in human absence epilepsy : a MEG study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this