Default mode network alterations during language task performance in children with benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BECTS)

Research Area: Research Year: 2014
Type of Publication: Article Keywords: Default mode network, Benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes, Functional magnetic resonance imaging, Independent component analysis, Cognition, Precuneus
Authors: Oser, Nadine; Hubacher, Martina; Specht, Karsten; Datta, Alexandre N.; Weber, Peter; Penner, Iris-Katharina
Benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BECTS) is the most common idiopathic epileptic disorder in children. Besides reported cognitive deficits, functional alterations mostly in the reorganization of language areas have also been described. In several publications, it has been reported that activation of the default mode network (DMN) can be reduced or altered in different neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders in adults. Whether this also holds true for children with epilepsy has so far not been clarified. To determine the functional activation of the DMN in children with BECTS, 20 patients and 16 healthy controls were examined using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), while a sentence generation task and a reading task were applied in a block design manner. To study the default mode network and the functional alterations between groups, an independent component analysis (ICA) was computed and further analyzed using SPM5. Compared with controls, children with BECTS showed not only significantly less activation of the DMN during the rest condition but also less deactivation during cognitive effort. This was most apparent in the precuneus, a key region of the DMN, while subjects were generating sentences. From these findings, we hypothesize that children with BECTS show a functional deficit that is reflected by alterations in the DMN.
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