Research ArticleEpilepsy

Cognitive refractory state caused by spontaneous epileptic high-frequency oscillations in the human brain

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Translational Medicine  16 Oct 2019:
Vol. 11, Issue 514, eaax7830
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aax7830

A brief refractory state

Patients with epilepsy present abnormal activity in specific brain areas, resulting in the development of seizures. The removal of these epileptic regions is often the best treatment available. Seizure-originating tissue is thought to be chronically dysfunctional; however, it is unclear how epileptic tissue responds to cognitive stimuli before, during, and after seizures. Now, Liu et al. detected and analyzed brain oscillations in nonlesional epileptic tissue of patients while performing cognitive tasks. The author found that the epileptic tissue generated physiological responses to cognitive stimuli except when the stimulus arrived at the 1-s window preceding seizure. The results suggest that the epileptic tissue might not be as chronically impaired as previously thought.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science Translational Medicine