Affiliations: [a] College of Computer and Communication, Lanzhou University of Technology, Lanzhou, Gansu, 730050, China | [b] Department of Nuclear magnetic resonance, The Second Hospital of Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, Gansu, 733000, China | [c] Department of Imaging Diagnosis, Lanzhou General Hospital of Lanzhou Military Command, Lanzhou, Gansu, 730050, China
Abstract: Previous studies suggested that the patients with generalized tonic–clonic seizure had structural abnormalities in the thalamus, cingulated cortex and some other specific brain regions. Concurrently, the abnormality in thalamocortical network and basal ganglia network has been found in idiopathic generalized epilepsy. The cingulated cortex, a nexus of information processing and regulation in human brain, is implicated in the propagation of generalized spike in IGE and the previous studies have suggested that the structural features and functional connectivity of the cingulated cortex have been changed. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the alterations in the cingulated cortex in generalized tonic–clonic seizure by combining morphological and functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging. 19 patients with generalized tonic–clonic seizure and 19 age-and gender-matched healthy controls were involved in the study. The three-dimensional high-resolution T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging data were acquired for voxel-based morphometry analysis, two-sample t-test run on the T1-weighted structural images revealed clusters exhibiting significant decreases in grey-matter volume in the generalized tonic–clonic seizure group, located within the cingulated cortex, thalamus, frontal lobe, temporal lobe, and cerebellum. The decreased gray matter volume in the cingulated cortex indicating that the cingulated cortex has structural impairments in generalized tonic–clonic seizure patients. The bilateral cingulated cortex, as detected with decreased gray matter volume in patients with generalized tonic–clonic seizure through voxel-based morphometry analysis, was selected as seed regions for functional connectivity analysis. Compared with controls, we found decreased functional connectivity to left anterior cingulated cortex (ROI1) in the cuneus, frontal lobe and precentral gyrus. There was no significant result when seeding at the right anterior cingulum gyrus (ROI2). The results of the ROI3 (left middle cingulum) revealed the significantly decreased functional connectivity in the parietal lobe and frontal lobe. Seeding at the ROI4 (right middle cingulum), decreased functional connectivity showed in the occipital lobe, temporal lobe, frontal lobe. Seeding at the ROI5 (left posterior cingulum), decreased functional connectivity showed in the temporal lobe and frontal lobe. Seeding at the ROI6 (right posterior cingulum), decreased functional connectivity showed in the cuneus and frontal lobe. We did not find any increased functional connectivity of the posterior cingulated cortex (ROI3–ROI6) for the generalized tonic–clonic seizure patients in comparison to the controls (p<0.001). Our findings demonstrated that the abnormalities of the functional connectivity were likely to be related to the decreased gray matter volume in the cingulated cortex.