ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Mayo Clinic (http://www.
"The synchronization of local and distributed neuronal assemblies underlies fundamental brain processes like perception, learning and cognition," says Gregory Worrell, M.D., Ph.D., (http://www.
Mayo Clinic researchers investigated neuronal synchrony by studying intracranial EEG (electroencephalogram) recordings from patients with epilepsy and control subjects with facial pain. Researchers discovered that the control patients had greater average synchrony than patients with focal epilepsy (when seizures are produced in a small part of the brain, not the entire brain). When implanted electrode pairs bridged seizure-generating brain and other brain regions, the synchrony was significantly less than between other electrode pairs in the epileptic brain and the control brain. The team also found that with greater activity in the seizure-generating region, there was less synchrony with neighboring tissue outside that region.
"Our study shows us that the part of the brain generating seizures is isolated from the surrounding brain regions," says Dr. Worrell. "This finding could serve as a clinical biomarker of an abnormal brain, and it can also be useful in epilepsy surgery and brain stimulation treatments, as well as helping us understand how seizures are generated."
Other scientists involved in this research include C. Warren, Ph.D.; S. Hu; S. Stead, M.D., Ph.D.; B. Brinkmann, and M. Bower, Ph.D.
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