Characterizing the Postictal Phase of Temporal Lobe Seizures

Alan R. Jacobs, MD


January 30, 2013

This feature requires the newest version of Flash. You can download it here.

This is the Medscape Neurology Minute. I am Dr. Alan Jacobs. Temporal lobe seizures can induce impairment of normal brain function, such as postictal loss of consciousness or cognitive dysfunction. Now, researchers from the Department of Biomechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota have used scalp electrode encephalography to study the spectral features and spatial distribution of postictal slow waves with comprehensive spatial coverage in simple partial, complex partial, and secondarily generalized seizures occurring in 28 patients with temporal lobe epilepsy. They reconstituted the postictal slow-wave distributions from dense-array electroencephalography and source imaging. They found a global, low-frequency spectral power shift accompanying an increase in seizure severity, highest for generalized seizures, followed by complex partial seizures and least for simple partial seizures. They also found a slow-wave regional spatial shift, mostly with secondarily generalized seizures and complex partial seizures, shifting from frontal areas with spread to contralateral temporal and parietal regions, less so with simple partial seizures. The investigators conclude that this widespread cortical network involved in abnormal slow-wave activity following temporal lobe seizures represents a possible mechanism linking cortical slow waves and behavioral cognitive changes in the human epilepsy model. This study was selected from Medscape's Practice-Changing Articles in Neurology.