We studied propagation of epileptic discharges in five patients with supplementary motor area (SMA) seizures with subdural grid electrodes implanted over the dorsolateral frontal neocortex and in the interhemispheric fissure. We found that both interictal and ictal epileptic discharges occurred synchronously in the SMA and the primary cortex. The actively involved electrodes were separated by silent electrodes. The time lag between the SMA and the primary motor cortex averaged 25 msec for interictal and 100 msec for ictal discharges. Cortical stimulations of the affected electrodes showed motor effects in corresponding body parts. All patients underwent resections of the EEG onset zone within the SMA while sparing the primary motor cortex and experienced a significant (>90%) reduction of seizure frequency. We conclude that epileptic activity is propagated between the SMA and the primary motor cortex by a somatotopically organized monosynaptic pathway.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology