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Spatiotemporal dynamics between interictal epileptiform discharges and ripples during associative memory processing

By Simon Henin, Anita Shankar, Helen Borges, Adeen Flinker, Werner Doyle, Daniel Friedman, Orrin Devinsky, György Buzsáki, Anli Liu

Posted 24 Jul 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.07.22.216416

We describe the spatiotemporal course of cortical high-gamma activity (HGA), hippocampal ripple activity and interictal epileptiform discharges (IEDs) during an associative memory task in 15 epilepsy patients undergoing invasive electroencephalography. Successful encoding trials manifested significantly greater HGA in hippocampus and frontal regions. Successful cued recall trials manifested sustained HGA in hippocampus compared to failed responses. Hippocampal ripple rates were greater during successful encoding and retrieval trials. IEDs during encoding were associated with 15% decreased odds of remembering in hippocampus (95% CI 6-23%). Hippocampal IEDs during retrieval predicted 25% decreased odds of remembering (15-33%). Odds of remembering were reduced by 25-52% if IEDs occurred during the 500-2000 ms window of encoding or by 41% during retrieval. During encoding and retrieval, hippocampal IEDs were followed by a transient decrease in ripple rate. We hypothesize that IEDs impair associative memory in a regionally and temporally specific manner by decreasing physiologic hippocampal ripples necessary for effective encoding and recall. Because dynamic memory impairment arises from pathological IED events competing with physiological ripples, IEDs represent a promising therapeutic target for memory remediation in patients with epilepsy. SummaryHippocampal interictal epileptiform discharges in hippocampus acutely impair declarative memory, potentially by hijacking physiological processes essential for encoding and recall.

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