Topiramate and its effect on fMRI of language in patients with right or left temporal lobe epilepsy

Academic Article


  • Topiramate (TPM) is well recognized for its negative effects oncognition, language performance and lateralization results on the intracarotid amobarbital procedure (IAP). But, the effects of TPM on functional MRI (fMRI) of language and the fMRI signals are less clear. Functional MRI is increasingly used for presurgical evaluation of epilepsy patients in place of IAP for language lateralization. Thus, the goal of this study was to assess the effects of TPM on fMRI signals. In this study, we included 8 patients with right temporal lobe epilepsy (RTLE) and 8 with left temporal lobe epilepsy (LTLE) taking TPM (+ TPM). Matched to them for age, handedness and side of seizure onset were 8 patients with RTLE and 8 with LTLE not taking TPM (-TPM). Matched for age and handedness to the patients with TLE were 32 healthy controls. The fMRI paradigm involved semantic decision/tone decision task (in-scanner behavioral data were collected). All epilepsy patients received a standard neuropsychological language battery. One sample t-tests were performed within each group to assess task-specific activations. Functional MRI data random-effects analysis was performed to determine significant group activation differences and to assess the effect of TPM dose on task activation. Direct group comparisons of fMRI, language and demographic data between patients with R/L TLE + TPM vs -TPM and the analysis of the effects of TPM on blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal were performed. Groups were matched for age, handedness and, within the R/L TLE groups, for the age of epilepsy onset/duration and the number of AEDs/TPM dose. The in-scanner language performance of patients was worse when compared to healthy controls - all p < 0.044. While all groups showed fMRI activation typical for this task, regression analyses comparing L/R TLE + TPM vs. -TPM showed significant fMRI signal differences between groups (increases in left cingulate gyrus and decreases in left superior temporal gyrus in the patients with LTLE + TPM; increases in the right BA 10 and left visual cortex and decreases in the left BA 47 in + TPM RTLE). Further, TPM dose showed positive relationship with activation in the basal ganglia and negative associations with activation in anterior cingulate and posterior visual cortex. Thus, TPM appears to have a different effect on fMRI language distribution in patients with R/L TLE and a dose-dependent effect on fMRI signals. These findings may, in part, explain the negative effects of TPM on cognition and language performance and support the notion that TPM may affect the results of language fMRI lateralization/localization. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 25905543
  • Author List

  • Szaflarski JP; Allendorfer JB
  • Start Page

  • 74
  • End Page

  • 80
  • Volume

  • 24
  • Issue

  • 1