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In ENIGMA-Epilepsy DTI, we are investigating voxelwise white matter (WM) variation in a phenotypically heterogeneous group of people with epilepsy compared to a group of neurologically healthy controls. Previous DTI studies have illustrated microstructural disruptions in the majority of WM tracts for people with temporal lobe epilepsy17, with the most profound changes occurring ipsilateral to the side of seizure onset, close to the seizure onset zone. Previous DTI investigations have also revealed significant impairments of the thalamocortical circuitry in juvenile myoclonic epilepsy18, childhood absence epilepsy19 and idiopathic generalized epilepsy20. Cellular studies have similarly implicated the thalamocortical circuitry in the generation of spike-wave seizures, which are a common feature of generalized epilepsy21.


Similar to ENIGMA-Epilepsy GRAY MATTER, ENIGMA-Epilepsy DTI will initially consider WM changes in people with epilepsy as a whole – testing the hypothesis that people with epilepsy have widespread disruptions of the white matter skeleton when compared to neurologically healthy controls. Follow-up analyses may explore more specific patterns of WM alteration in sub-groups of epilepsy patients; e.g. focal epilepsies, generalized epilepsies and mesial temporal lobe epilepsy, all in large* numbers of patients.

The co-leads for ENIGMA-Epilepsy DTI are Dr. Sean Hatton and Professor Carrie McDonald of UCSD, alongside Dr. Christopher Whelan (Biogen), Professor Sanjay Sisodiya (UCL), and Dr. Neda Jahanshad (USC). Please contact Dr. Hatton or Professor McDonald with questions or queries.



17. Otte, W. M. et al. A meta-analysis of white matter changes in temporal lobe epilepsy as studied with diffusion tensor imaging. Epilepsia 53, 659–667 (2012).

18. Deppe, M. et al. Nerve fiber impairment of anterior thalamocortical circuitry in juvenile myoclonic epilepsy. Neurology 71, 1981–1985 (2008).

19. Yang, T. et al. White matter impairment in the basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuit of drug-naïve childhood absence epilepsy. Epilepsy Research 99, 267–273 (2012).

20. Groppa, S. et al. White matter microstructural changes of thalamocortical networks in photosensitivity and idiopathic generalized epilepsy. Epilepsia 53, 668–676 (2012).

21. Blumenfeld, H. Cellular and Network Mechanisms of Spike‐Wave Seizures. Epilepsia 46, 21–33 (2005).

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