The insula, one of the five cerebral lobes of the brain, is located deep within the brain and lies mainly beneath the temporal lobe. Insular epilepsy can be easily confused and misdiagnosed as temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) because of the similar clinical symptoms and scalp electroencephalography (EEG) findings due to the insula location and neuronal connections with the temporal lobe. Magnetoencephalography (MEG) has higher sensitivity and spatial resolution than scalp EEG, and thus can often identify epileptic discharges not revealed by scalp EEG. Simultaneous scalp EEG and MEG were performed to detect and localize epileptic discharges in two patients known to have insular epilepsy associated with cavernous angioma in the insula. Epileptic discharges were detected as abnormal spikes in the EEG and MEG findings. In Patient 1, the sources of all MEG spikes detected simultaneously by EEG and MEG (E/M-spikes) were localized in the anterior temporal lobe, similar to TLE. In contrast, the sources of all MEG spikes detected only by MEG (M-spikes) were adjacent to the insular lesion. In Patient 2, the sources of all MEG spikes detected simultaneously by EEG and MEG (E/M-spikes) were localized in the anterior temporal lobe. These findings indicate that MEG allows us to detect insular activity that is undetectable by scalp EEG. In conclusion, simultaneous EEG and MEG are helpful for detecting spikes and obtaining additional information about the epileptic origin and propagation in patients with insular epilepsy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)