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Translational analysis of structural connectivity of the epileptogenic lesion in focal cortical dysplasia (FCD)

Funded by the Otfrid-Förster Grant (DGfE), the Stiftung Neurochirurgische Forschung (DGNC) and the Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft Freiburg

Funding to Dr. Nakagawa

Project Description

On a microstructural level, FCD is characterized by focal impairment of the cortical architecture (FCD I) partly associated with the presence of dysmorphic neurons (FCD IIa) or balloon cells (FCD IIb). Moreover, there is strong evidence that myelination is of special importance in epilepsy and epileptogenesis in FCD. On a macrostructural level, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the diagnostic gold standard revealing a characteristic alteration of cortical and subcortical structure. But MRI findings may also be very subtle especially in FCD I, making the tailored and complete neurosurgical resection of the lesion more challenging in order to achieve the best postoperative epileptological outcome. Recent findings imply that the MRI signal alterations and macro- and mesostructural findings are likely to correlate with an impairment of myelination and fiber integrity on a microstructural level.

Therefore, we aim to understand the underlying pathology of FCD on a microstructural and molecular, but also on a mesostructural level in order to analyze structural epileptic network properties in vivo and ex vivo.

In collaboration with the Department of Radiology and Medical Physics, the Department of Neuroradiology and the Epilepsy Center Freiburg.