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Abstract #4144

Resting-State Functional Connectivity of the Thalamus is Reduced in Absence Epilepsy

Richard Andrew James Masterton1, Patrick W. Carney1,2, Graeme D. Jackson1,2

1Brain Research Institute, Florey Neuroscience Institutes, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; 2Department of Medicine, the University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Generalised spike wave (GSW) discharges are a hallmark of childhood absence epilepsy (CAE). Previous EEG-fMRI studies have identified a common network of brain regions that are active during these events. In this study we measured fMRI functional connectivity in a group of CAE patients during periods free from GSW and compared this with healthy controls. We found patients had relatively decreased connectivity in the thalamus and increased connectivity in parietal cortex. This may contribute to increased cortical excitability and create a permissive environment for generation of GSW discharges, as well as explain the subtle cognitive impairments in these patients.