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Abstract #1206

Functional MRI Detects Chronically Enhanced Somatosensory Activation Maps Following Multiple Seizures in Rats.

Ursula I. Tuor1, Jennifer Vuong2, Jeffrey F. Dunn3, Tadeusz Foniok1, Dave Kirk4, Amy H. Henderson2, G Campbell Teskey2,5

1Institute for Biodiagnostics (West), National Research Council of Canada , Calgary, Alberta, Canada; 2Psychology, University of Calgary; 3Radiology, University of Calgary; 4Experimental Imaging Centre, University of Calgary; 5Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in rats to investigate whether following 20 repeatedly elicited seizures there are seizure-induced alterations in the somatosensory maps to forepaw stimulation. We observed increased areas of activation both acutely (1-3 days) and chronically (3-5 weeks) after experimental kindling induced epilepsy. The data indicate that there is considerable neuroplasticity and development of new pathways during the progression of epilepsy. Whether comparable plasticity of cortical maps is present in humans should be tested using fMRI in future studies, considering that such seizure-induced changes may be involved in producing interictal behavioural disturbances.