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House P.M.,Protestant Hospital Alsterdorf | Lanz M.,Protestant Hospital Alsterdorf | Holst B.,University of Hamburg | Martens T.,University of Hamburg | And 2 more authors.
Epilepsy Research | Year: 2013

Purpose: Focal cortical dysplasias (FCD) are highly epileptogenic lesions frequently accounting for pharmaco-resistant focal epilepsy. Visual MRI analysis combined with morphometric analysis of T1-weighted MRI data was shown to be of higher diagnostic sensitivity in detecting and delineating FCD than conventional visual analysis alone. Here we investigate whether morphometric analysis of T2-weighted MRI volume data sets is of equal benefit or perhaps more helpful for visualizing FCD. Materials and methods: Morphometric analysis was applied to T1- and T2-weighted MRI volume data sets of 20 epilepsy patients with FCD using a fully automated MATLAB script with scanner- and sequence-specific normal databases for T1 and T2 images. For each modality, a new feature map (i.e., 'junction image') highlighting the FCD-typical blurring of the gray-white matter junction and quantifying this feature in comparison to the normal database in terms of z-scores was calculated. The resulting T1 and T2 'junction images' were compared for conspicuity and recognizability of the FCD both qualitatively by visual assessment and quantitatively by analysis of the mean z-scores inside and outside the lesions. Results: In 80% of the cases, the FCD presented with higher contrast and/or clearer delineation in the T2 than in the T1 'junction images' and were thus easier to recognize in these images. The quantitative analysis supported this impression: in 95% of cases, the ratio of mean z-scores inside and outside the FCD was higher in T2- than in T1-based 'junction images'. For the T2 'junction images', this ratio amounted to 8.7 on average and was thus more than twice as high as the corresponding T1 result of 3.7 (p< .003). Conclusion: Concerning visualization of FCD by highlighting blurring of the gray-white matter junction, the results of the present study indicate that morphometric analysis of T2-weighted MRI data on average is superior to T1-based morphometry. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Frings L.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Mader I.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Landwehrmeyer B.G.,University of Ulm | Weiller C.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | And 2 more authors.
Human Brain Mapping | Year: 2012

A novel method of automated MRI volumetry was used to study regional atrophy and disease progression in repeated MRI measurements of patients with frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). Fifty-nine structural MRI data sets of 17 clinically diagnosed FTLD patients were acquired over up to 30 months in intervals of 6 months and compared with data of 30 age-matched healthy controls. Patients were further subgrouped into behavioral variant FTLD (bvFTLD), progressive nonfluent aphasia (PNFA), and semantic dementia (SemD). Gray matter (GM) volumes of frontal lobes (FL) and temporal lobes (TL) were determined by voxel-based volumetry based on SPM5 algorithms and a probabilistic brain atlas. MRI volumetry revealed frontal and temporal GM atrophy across FTLD patients, with further progression over time. Significant side asymmetry of TL volumes was found in SemD. The ratio of TL to FL volumes was significantly reduced in SemD and increased in bvFTLD. Using this ratio, 6/7 SemD patients and 5/6 bvFTLD patients could be correctly differentiated. TL/FL ratios in bvFTLD and SemD further diverged significantly over a time span of only 6 months. Rates of temporal GM loss per 6 months were 3-4% in SemD, and 2.5% for frontal GM loss in bvFTLD, and thereby clearly exceeded published cerebral volume loss in healthy elderly subjects. The study presents a fully automated, observer-independent volumetric assessment of regional atrophy which allows differentiation of FTLD subgroups. Its sensitivity for atrophy progression-even in such short intervals like 6 months-might benefit future clinical trials as treatment outcome measure. ©; 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.


Hoglinger G.U.,University of Marburg | Hoglinger G.U.,TU Munich | Hoglinger G.U.,German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases | Huppertz H.-J.,Swiss Epilepsy Center | And 5 more authors.
Movement Disorders | Year: 2014

It is believed that glycogen synthase kinase-3 hyperphosphorylates tau protein in progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). The Tau Restoration on PSP (TAUROS) trial assessed the glycogen synthase kinase-3 inhibitor tideglusib as potential treatment. For the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) substudy reported here, we assessed the progression of brain atrophy. TAUROS was a multinational, phase 2, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in patients with mild-to-moderate PSP who were treated with oral tideglusib (600 mg or 800 mg daily) or with placebo for 1 year. A subset of patients underwent baseline and 52-week MRI. Automated, observer-independent, atlas-based, and mask-based volumetry was done on high-resolution, T1-weighted, three-dimensional data. For primary outcomes, progression of atrophy was compared both globally (brain, cerebrum) and regionally (third ventricle, midbrain, pons) between the active and placebo groups (Bonferroni correction). For secondary outcomes, 15 additional brain structures were explored (Benjamini & Yekutieli correction). In total, MRIs from 37 patient were studied (placebo group, N = 9; tideglusib 600 mg group, N = 19; tideglusib 800 mg group, N = 9). The groups compared well in their demographic characteristics. Clinical results showed no effect of tideglusib over placebo. Progression of atrophy was significantly lower in the active group than in the placebo group for the brain (mean ± standard error of the mean: -1.3% ± 1.4% vs. -3.1% ± 2.3%, respectively), cerebrum (-1.3% ± 1.5% vs. -3.2% ± 2.1%, respectively), parietal lobe (-1.6% ± 1.9% vs. -4.1% ± 3.0%, respectively), and occipital lobe (-0.3% ± 1.8% vs. -2.7% ± 3.2%, respectively). A trend toward reduced atrophy also was observed in the frontal lobe, hippocampus, caudate nucleus, midbrain, and brainstem. In patients with PSP, tideglusib reduced the progression of atrophy in the whole brain, particularly in the parietal and occipital lobes. © 2014 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.


Hoffmann J.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin | Huppertz H.-J.,Swiss Epilepsy Center | Schmidt C.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin | Kunte H.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin | And 4 more authors.
Cephalalgia | Year: 2013

Objective: We aimed at validating established imaging features of idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) by using stateof- the-art MR imaging together with advanced post-processing techniques and correlated imaging findings to clinical scores. Methods: Twenty-five IIH patients as well as age-, sex- and body mass index (BMI)-matched controls underwent highresolution T1w and T2w MR imaging in a 1.5 T scanner, followed by assessment of optic nerve sheaths, pituitary gland, ventricles and Meckel's cave. Imaging findings were correlated with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) opening pressures and clinical symptom scores of visual disturbances (visual field defects or enlarged blind spot), headache, tinnitus (pulsatile and nonpulsatile) and vertigo. CSF as well as ventricle volumes were determined by using an automated MRI volumetry algorithm. Results: So-called 'empty sella' and optic nerve sheath distension were identified as reliable imaging signs in IIH. Posterior globe flattening turned out as a highly specific but not very sensitive sign. No abnormalities of the lateral ventricles were observed. These morphometric results could be confirmed using MR volumetry (VBM). Clinical symptoms did not correlate with an increase in lumbar opening pressure. Conclusions: Our study results indicate that lateral ventricle size is not affected in IIH. In contrast, abnormalities of the pituitary gland and optic nerve sheath were reliable diagnostic signs for IIH. © 2013 International Headache Society.


Reuber M.,University of Sheffield | Kurthen M.,Swiss Epilepsy Center
Behavioural Neurology | Year: 2011

Non-epileptic attack disorder (NEAD) is one of the most important differential diagnoses of epilepsy. Impairment of consciousness is the key feature of non-epileptic attacks (NEAs). The first half of this review summarises the clinical research literature featuring observations relating to consciousness in NEAD. The second half places this evidence in the wider context of the recent discourse on consciousness in neuroscience and the philosophy of mind. We argue that studies of consciousness should not only distinguish between the 'level' and 'content' of consciousness but also between 'phenomenal consciousness' (consciousness of states it somehow "feels to be like") and 'access consciousness' (having certain 'higher' cognitive processes at one's disposal). The existing evidence shows that there is a great intra- and interindividual variability of NEA experience. However, in most NEAs phenomenal experience - and, as a precondition for that experience, vigilance or wakefulness - is reduced to a lesser degree than in those epileptic seizures involving impairment of consciousness. In fact, complete loss of "consciousness" is the exception rather than the rule in NEAs. Patients, as well as external observers, may have a tendency to overestimate impairments of consciousness during the seizures.


Wellmer J.,University of Bonn | Parpaley Y.,University of Bonn | Von Lehe M.,University of Bonn | Huppertz H.-J.,Swiss Epilepsy Center
Neurosurgery | Year: 2010

OBJECTIVE: Focal cortical dysplasias (FCDs) are highly epileptogenic lesions. Surgical removal is frequently the best treatment option for pharmacoresistant epilepsy. However, subtle FCDs may remain undetected even after high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Morphometric MRI analysis, which compares the individual brain with a normal database, can facilitate the detection of FCDs. We describe how the results of normal database-based MRI postprocessing can be used to guide stereotactic electrode implantation and subsequent resection of lesions that are suspected to be FCDs. METHODS: A presurgical evaluation was conducted on a 19-year-old woman with pharmacoresistant hypermotor seizures. Conventional high-resolution MRI was classified as negative for epileptogenic lesions. However, morphometric analysis of the spatially normalized MRI revealed abnormal gyration and blurring of the gray-white matter junction, which was suggestive of a small and deeply seated FCD in the left frontal lobe. RESULTS: The brain region highlighted by morphometric analysis was marked as a region of interest, transferred back to the original dimension of the individual MRI, and imported into a neuronavigation system. This allowed the region of interest-targeted stereotactic implantation of 2 depth electrodes, by which seizure onset was confirmed in the lesion. The electrodes also guided the final resection, which rendered the patient seizure-free. The lesion was histologically classified as FCD Palmini and Lüders IIB. CONCLUSION: Transferring normal database-based MRI postprocessing results into a neuronavigation system is a new and worthwhile extension of multimodal neuronavigation. The combination of resulting regions of interest with functional and anatomic data may facilitate planning of electrode implantation for invasive electroencephalographic recordings and the final resection of small or deeply seated FCDs. Copyright © 2010 by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.


Kramer G.,Swiss Epilepsy Center
Epilepsia | Year: 2013

Placebo effects in the therapy of epilepsy were already known before the introduction of effective antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). They have physiologic correlates, and are even stronger in other neurologic disorders such as pain. Placebo effects in epilepsy have many facets. Our understanding of this phenomenon has increased in the last two decades: placebo effects are stronger in children than in adults, and may be culture- and setting-dependent; and impressive placebo effects occur in animals with epilepsy as well. More research is needed to fully elucidate the mechanism of placebo effects in epilepsy care, particularly as we go forth with studies addressing the issue of pharmacoresistance. Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2013 International League Against Epilepsy.


Schmutz M.,Swiss Epilepsy Center
Epilepsy and Behavior | Year: 2013

Dissociative seizures are commonly recognized as both a challenging and a poorly understood condition. Though research and publication activity is high, advances in knowledge and insight seem only moderate in recent years. This review focuses on some relevant problematic issues, which might account for a still unsatisfactory research state. A general tendency to deal with dissociative seizures as an assumed disorder in its own nosological right and not as a sole symptom of an underlying psychiatric disorder is most likely one of the major roots of the problem. Unfavorable impacts of this confusion pertaining to clinical management, therapy, and outcome of dissociative seizures are discussed. An alternative point of view, based on the immanent psychiatric and psychodynamic roots of dissociative seizures, is considered.© 2013 Elsevier Inc.


Pascher B.,Swiss Epilepsy Center | Pascher B.,Epilepsy Center for Children and Adolescents | Kroll J.,Swiss Epilepsy Center | Mothersill I.,Swiss Epilepsy Center | And 2 more authors.
Epilepsia | Year: 2013

Purpose: To describe a novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) postprocessing technique for the detection of periventricular nodular heterotopia (PNH) and to evaluate its diagnostic value. The method is a further development of voxel-based morphometric analysis with focus on a region of interest around the lateral ventricles to increase the sensitivity and specificity for automated detection of abnormally located gray matter in this area. Methods: T1-weighted MRI volume data sets were normalized and segmented in statistical parametric mapping (SPM 5 software), and the distribution of gray matter was compared to a normal database. As a new approach, individual masks derived from segmentation of the lateral ventricles were used to restrict the search for ectopic gray matter to the periventricular area. PNH were automatically detected by localizing the maximum deviation from the normal database in this area, provided that the z-score exceeded a certain threshold. The optimal z-score threshold for maximum sensitivity and specificity was determined by a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis. The method was applied in 40 patients with PNH and 400 controls. Key Findings: PNH were detected in 37 of 40 patients, and false positives were found in 34 of 400 controls, amounting to 92.5% sensitivity and 91.5% specificity. In 17 of the patients in whom PNH could be identified, these lesions had been overlooked in the past, and in 8 patients even in the high-resolution MRI subsequently used for postprocessing. Significance: The results suggest that automated morphometric MRI analysis with focus on ectopic gray matter in the periventricular areas facilitates the evaluation of MRI data and increases the sensitivity for the detection of PNH. © Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2013 International League Against Epilepsy.


Muller H.-P.,University of Ulm | Unrath A.,University of Ulm | Huppertz H.-J.,Swiss Epilepsy Center | Ludolph A.C.,University of Ulm | Kassubek J.,University of Ulm
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis | Year: 2012

This study was designed to investigate differences of white matter (WM) involvement patterns in various motor neuron disorders (MND) by use of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI).DTI was acquired in ALS (n = 20), primary lateral sclerosis (n = 20), pure hereditary spastic paraparesis (HSP) (n = 20), and complicated HSP (n = 12). The data analysis was performed by voxelwise comparison of fractional anisotropy (FA) maps at group level together with fibre tracking in regions of interest (ROI) accompanied by tractwise fractional anisotropy statistics. DTI analysis revealed widespread patterns of alterations with a predominant deterioration of the motor system. These alterations encompassed, as the key structures, not only the corticospinal tracts (CST) but also distinct areas of the corpus callosum (CC), in particular its motor segment III. In conclusion, whole brain-based and tract-based DTI analysis was able to define a distinct WM pathoanatomy of different MND. These results may serve as an additional guidance in the identification of MRI-based parameters by showing a consistent CST and CC involvement, with differences in the extent of pathology, across a range of clinically different disorders. For potential future developments in MRI diagnostics in MND, a (perhaps multiparametric) ROI-based approach should include CST and the CC motor segment. © 2012 Informa Healthcare.

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