Literature Monitor

The Role of White Matter in Focal Epilepsy

Epilepsy Res; 2018 Feb; Deleo et al.


Pathological changes in the brain’s white matter may contribute to focal epilepsy, suggests a recent review of the scientific research.

  • Investigators have uncovered pathological changes in white matter myelination, axonal integrity, and cellular composition among patients with epilepsy, based on ex vivo and postmortem studies.
  • Microstructural changes in several areas of the brain’s white matter near and at a distance from the epileptic focus have been discovered with the help of diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), including diffusion tensor imaging.
  • MRI of the brain’s white matter may also be helpful in predicting patients’ cognitive functioning and how they respond to drug and surgical treatment.
  • The literature review focuses on temporal lobe epilepsy and focal cortical dysplasia and the white matter anomalies detected in these disorders.

Histological and MRI markers of white matter damage in focal epilepsy. Epilepsy Res. 2018;140:29-38.

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