Disrupted dynamic network reconfiguration of the language system in temporal lobe epilepsy.

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TitleDisrupted dynamic network reconfiguration of the language system in temporal lobe epilepsy.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsHe, X, Bassett, DS, Chaitanya, G, Sperling, MR, Kozlowski, L, Tracy, JI
Date Published2018 05 01
KeywordsAdult, Brain Mapping, Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe, Female, Functional Laterality, Humans, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Language Disorders, Machine Learning, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Middle Aged, Models, Neurological, Neural Pathways, Neuropsychological Tests, Nonlinear Dynamics, Oxygen, Statistics, Nonparametric, Verbal Behavior

Temporal lobe epilepsy tends to reshape the language system causing maladaptive reorganization that can be characterized by task-based functional MRI, and eventually can contribute to surgical decision making processes. However, the dynamic interacting nature of the brain as a complex system is often neglected, with many studies treating the language system as a static monolithic structure. Here, we demonstrate that as a specialized and integrated system, the language network is inherently dynamic, characterized by rich patterns of regional interactions, whose transient dynamics are disrupted in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy. Specifically, we applied tools from dynamic network neuroscience to functional MRI data collected from 50 temporal lobe epilepsy patients and 30 matched healthy controls during performance of a verbal fluency task, as well as during rest. By assigning 16 language-related regions into four subsystems (i.e. bilateral frontal and temporal), we observed regional specialization in both the probability of transient interactions and the frequency of such changes, in both healthy controls and patients during task performance but not rest. Furthermore, we found that both left and right temporal lobe epilepsy patients displayed reduced interactions within the left frontal 'core' subsystem compared to the healthy controls, while left temporal lobe epilepsy patients were unique in showing enhanced interactions between the left frontal 'core' and the right temporal subsystems. Also, both patient groups displayed reduced flexibility in the transient interactions of the left temporal and right frontal subsystems, which formed the 'periphery' of the language network. Importantly, such group differences were again evident only during task condition. Lastly, through random forest regression, we showed that dynamic reconfiguration of the language system tracks individual differences in verbal fluency with superior prediction accuracy compared to traditional activation-based static measures. Our results suggest dynamic network measures may be an effective biomarker for detecting the language dysfunction associated with neurological diseases such as temporal lobe epilepsy, specifying both the type of neuronal communications that are missing in these patients and those that are potentially added but maladaptive. Further advancements along these lines, transforming how we characterize and map language networks in the brain, have a high probability of altering clinical decision making in neurosurgical centres.10.1093/brain/awy042_video1awy042media15754656112001.

Alternate JournalBrain
PubMed ID29554279