, Volume 254, Issue 8, pp 1073-1080
Date: 12 Mar 2007

CBF changes in drug naive juvenile myoclonic epilepsy patients

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The role of thalamus and brainstem in generalized epilepsy has been suggested in previous studies. The aim of the present study was to assess regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) abnormality in juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) patients.


99mTc-ethylcysteinate dimer brain single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) was performed in 19 drug naive JME patients and 25 normal controls with the similar age and gender distribution. Differences of rCBF between a JME group and a normal control group were examined by the statistical parametric mapping of brain SPECT images using independent t test. The regression analyses in SPM were also performed between rCBF and the age of seizure onset or the disease duration in JME group.


Compared to normal controls, the JME group showed a significant rCBF reduction in bilateral thalami, red nucleus, midbrain, pons, left hippocampus, and in the cerebelli (FDR corrected p < 0.01) whereas rCBF increase in the left superior frontal gyrus (uncorrected p < 0.001 but FDR corrected p > 0.05). Disease duration was negatively correlated with rCBF in bilateral frontal cortices, caudate nuclei, brainstem and cerebellar tonsils.


Our results suggest that abnormal neural networks in the thalamus, hippocampus, brainstem and cerebellum are associated with JME.