Frontiers in Neurology (Feb 2022)

Episodic Memory Dysfunction and Effective Connectivity in Adult Patients With Newly Diagnosed Nonlesional Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

  • Aftab Bakhtiari,
  • Agnes Balint Bjørke,
  • Agnes Balint Bjørke,
  • Agnes Balint Bjørke,
  • Pål Gunnar Larsson,
  • Ketil Berg Olsen,
  • Marianne C. Johansen Nævra,
  • Erik Taubøll,
  • Erik Taubøll,
  • Kjell Heuser,
  • Ylva Østby

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 13


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ObjectiveEpilepsy is associated with both changes in brain connectivity and memory function, usually studied in the chronic patients. The aim of this study was to explore the presence of connectivity alterations measured by EEG in the parietofrontal network in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), and to examine episodic memory, at the time point of diagnosis.MethodsThe parietofrontal network of newly diagnosed patients with TLE (N = 21) was assessed through electroencephalography (EEG) effective connectivity and compared with that of matched controls (N = 21). Furthermore, we assessed phenomenological aspects of episodic memory in both groups. Association between effective connectivity and episodic memory were assessed through correlation.ResultsPatients with TLE displayed decreased episodic (p ≤ 0.001, t = −5.18) memory scores compared with controls at the time point of diagnosis. The patients showed a decreased right parietofrontal connectivity (p = 0.03, F = 4.94) compared with controls, and significantly weaker connectivity in their right compared with their left hemisphere (p = 0.008, t = −2.93). There were no significant associations between effective connectivity and episodic memory scores.ConclusionsWe found changes in both memory function and connectivity at the time point of diagnosis, supporting the notion that TLE involves complex memory functions and brain networks beyond the seizure focus to strongly interconnected brain regions, already early in the disease course. Whether the observed connectivity changes can be interpreted as functionally important to the alterations in memory function, it remains speculative.