EEG network analyses in patients with genetic generalized epilepsy
by Markus Christopher Alwin Loose
Date of Examination:2023-10-11
Date of issue:2023-08-24
Advisor:Prof. Dr. Niels Focke
Referee:Prof. Dr. Niels Focke
Referee:PD Dr. Peter Dechent
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EnglishGenetic generalized epilepsy (GGE) accounts for about 15% of all epilepsies (Jallon & Latour, 2005). Its etiology remains unknown and molecular processes have only partly been understood. In the clinical field patients often present with pathological oscillatory signals, such as spike waves in the electroencephalography (EEG; Scheffer et al., 2017). Besides these temporarily appearing patterns, research suggests a more generalized alteration in neuronal network activity. One common approach to investigate this matter, is to study brain-network activity during resting-state. In line with previous research we analyzed functional connectivity of 25 GGE-patients and 45 healthy controls in an ongoing study using magnetencephalography (MEG). Results implicated a significant increase in functional connectivity and power for GGE-patients (Elshahabi et al., 2015; Stier et al., under review). However, MEG is an expensive tool not commonly available (Simmatis, Scott & Jin, 2019). Therefore, and to further support and replicate the found results, this thesis will focus on the analysis of data from a more wide-spread accessible tool, which is electroencephalography (EEG). The same cohort was studied at the resting-state using high-density-EEG (HD-EEG) to thoroughly investigate, whether the increase in functional connectivity and power found for GGE-patients in MEG, can be reproduced with a different method. Furthermore, neuropsychological tests were administered in the same cohort to examine how cognitive functions such as attention span or working memory are associated with alterations in network connectivity in GGE-patients. Eventually, changes of general brain network activity could serve as a biomarker for examining GGE patients in future clinical work.
Keywords: Genetic Generalized Epilepsy; Functional Connectivity