An Integrative Approach to Study Structural and Functional Network Connectivity in Epilepsy Using Imaging and Signal Data

Sarah Carr, Arthur Gershon, Nassim Shafiabadi, Samden D. Lhatoo, Curtis Tatsuoka, Satya S. Sahoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


A key area of research in epilepsy neurological disorder is the characterization of epileptic networks as they form and evolve during seizure events. In this paper, we describe the development and application of an integrative workflow to analyze functional and structural connectivity measures during seizure events using stereotactic electroencephalogram (SEEG) and diffusion weighted imaging data (DWI).We computed structural connectivity measures using electrode locations involved in recording SEEG signal data as reference points to filter fiber tracts. We used a new workflow-based tool to compute functional connectivity measures based on non-linear correlation coefficient, which allows the derivation of directed graph structures to represent coupling between signal data. We applied a hierarchical clustering based network analysis method over the functional connectivity data to characterize the organization of brain network into modules using data from 27 events across 8 seizures in a patient with refractory left insula epilepsy. The visualization of hierarchical clustering values as dendrograms shows the formation of connected clusters first within each insulae followed by merging of clusters across the two insula; however, there are clear differences between the network structures and clusters formed across the 8 seizures of the patient. The analysis of structural connectivity measures showed strong connections between contacts of certain electrodes within the same brain hemisphere with higher prevalence in the perisylvian/opercular areas. The combination of imaging and signal modalities for connectivity analysis provides information about a patient-specific dynamical functional network and examines the underlying structural connections that potentially influences the properties of the epileptic network. We also performed statistical analysis of the absolute changes in correlation values across all 8 seizures during a baseline normative time period and different seizure events, which showed decreased correlation values during seizure onset; however, the changes during ictal phases were varied.
Original languageEnglish
Article number491403
Pages (from-to)1-19
JournalFrontiers in Integrative Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2021


  • epileptic seizure networks
  • diffusion tensor imaging
  • stereotactic EEG
  • functional connectivity
  • structural connectivity
  • Hierarchical clustering
  • integrative brain network analysis


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