fMRI of brain activation in a genetic rat model of absence seizures

Jeffrey R. Tenney, Timothy Q. Duong, Jean A. King, Craig F. Ferris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Purpose: EEG-triggered functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to identify areas of brain activation during spontaneous spike-and-wave discharges (SWDs) in an epileptic rat strain under awake conditions. Methods: Spontaneous absence seizures from 10 WAG/Rij rats were imaged by using T 2*-weighted echo planar imaging at 4.7 Tesla. fMRI of the blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) signal was triggered based on EEG recordings during imaging. Images obtained during spontaneous SWDs were compared with baseline images. Results: Significant positive BOLD signal changes were apparent in several areas of the cortex and several important nuclei of the thalamus. In addition, no negative BOLD signal was found in any brain area. Conclusions: We have shown that EEG-triggered BOLD fMRI can be used to detect cortical and thalamic activation related to the spontaneous SWDs that characterize absence seizures in awake WAG/Rij rats. These results draw an anatomic correlation between areas in which increased BOLD signal is found and those in which SWDs have been recorded. In addition, no negative BOLD signal was found to be associated with these spontaneous SWDs. We also demonstrated the technical feasibility of using EEG-triggered fMR1 in a genetic rat model of absence seizure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)576-582
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Absence seizure
  • Epilepsy
  • FMRI
  • Imaging
  • WAG/Rij

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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