Objective: The diagnosis of epilepsy cannot be reliably made prior to a patient's second seizure in most cases. Therefore, adequate diagnostic tools are needed to differentiate subjects with a first seizure from those with a seizure preceding the onset of epilepsy. The objective was to explore spontaneous blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) fluctuations in subjects with a first-ever seizure and patients with new-onset epilepsy (NOE), and to find characteristic biomarkers for seizure recurrence after the first seizure.
Methods: We examined 17 first-seizure subjects, 19 patients with new-onset epilepsy (NOE), and 18 healthy controls. All subjects underwent clinical investigation and received electroencephalography and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The BOLD time series were analyzed in terms of regional homogeneity (ReHo) and fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFFs).
Results: We found significantly stronger amplitudes (higher fALFFs) in patients with NOE relative to first-seizure subjects and healthy controls. The frequency range of 73-198 mHz (slow-3 subband) appeared most useful for discriminating patients with NOE from first-seizure subjects. The ReHo measure did not show any significant differences.
Significance: The fALFF appears to be a noninvasive measure that characterizes spontaneous BOLD fluctuations and shows stronger amplitudes in the slow-3 subband of patients with NOE relative first-seizure subjects and healthy controls. A larger study population with follow-up is required to determine whether fALFF holds promise as a potential biomarker for identifying subjects at increased risk to develop epilepsy.
- Functional magnetic resonance imaging
- BOLD time series
- Low frequency oscillations
- Regional homogeneity
- New-onset epilepsy
- IDIOPATHIC GENERALIZED EPILEPSY
- RESTING-STATE FMRI
- REGIONAL HOMOGENEITY