, Volume 240, Issue 5, pp 322-325

Regional differentiation of cell densities in the left and right hippocampi of epileptic patients

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Abstract

Neuronal cell densities in surgically removed left or right hippocampal tissue of epileptic patients suffering from temporal lobe epilepsy were determined in CA1, CA4, and the dentate gyrus (DG). Mean densities showed no statistically significant left-right asymmetry in CA1 and the DG, consistent with findings by others. Mean densities did show previously unreported asymmetry in CA4; densities were significantly lower in the right CA4 than in the left. Another new finding is an asymmetry in regional intercorrelations: positive and significant correlations among the three subfields were obtained only in the left hippocampus. In addition, we confirmed previous findings of positive correlation between neuronal densities in CA1 and age of onset of habitual epilepsy, on either side. Taken together, the results suggest subtle left-right asymmetries in the vulnerability of the hippocampi to epilepsy-associated damage and/or higher neuronal connectivity or interdependence on the left than on the right.