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Relationship between aura subtypes and areas of extrahippocampal cortical and subcortical atrophy in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy associated with hippocampal sclerosis

Grant number: 22/12731-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2022
Effective date (End): November 30, 2023
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Medicine
Principal Investigator:Fernando Cendes
Grantee:Giovanna Gobbi Obalhe
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Médicas (FCM). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/07559-3 - BRAINN - The Brazilian Institute of Neuroscience and Neurotechnology, AP.CEPID


Epilepsy is a brain condition in which there is a persistent predisposition to generate epileptic seizures resulting from synchronous, anomalous and excessive electrical discharges. Mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) is of great clinical relevance and is commonly accompanied by auras (focal seizures with no change in perception). Hippocampal sclerosis (HE), which can be detected on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), is the most frequent cause of MTLE. There are MRI analysis methods capable of calculating surface areas and cortical thickness in specific brain regions. Among them, the FreeSurfer software is a well-validated tool for quantifying possible variations cortical and subcortical disorders resulting from structural brain changes. Previous studies have shown that patients with MTLE have areas of subcortical and neocortical atrophy ipsilateral and contralateral to the HE. The objective of this research project is to to investigate the relationship between the extrahippocampal structural alterations of the MTLE and the types of auras. We will review the medical records of 100 patients diagnosed with MTLE at Hospital das Clínicas da Unicamp and divide them into 5 groups based on the presence of the main auras (autonomic, cognitive, emotional, sensory or without auras). Next, we will do a quantitative analysis of structural changes in MRI using the FreeSurfer software. The measurements of cortical thickness, cortical surface area and gyrification index of each hemisphere generated by FreeSurfer from each group (aura types) will be compared with each other and with a normal control group (n=300).

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