Striatal hypertrophy and its cognitive effects in new-onset benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes

Jack J. Lin, Jeff D. Riley, David A. Hsu, Carl E. Stafstrom, Kevin Dabbs, Tara Becker, Michael Seidenberg, Bruce P. Hermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Purpose: Benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BECTS), the most common childhood epilepsy syndrome, is a neurodevelopmental disorder with a genetic influence. Despite its signature electroencephalographic pattern and distinct focal motor seizure semiology, little is known about the underlying brain anatomic alteration and the corresponding cognitive consequences. Given the motor manifestations of seizures in BECTS, we hypothesize that anatomic networks in BECTS involve a distributed corticostriatal circuit. Methods: We investigated volumetric differences and shape deformities of caudate, putamen, pallidum, and thalamus in a group of children with new- and recentonset BECTS (N = 13) compared to healthy controls (N = 54). We correlated specific subcortical volumes in BECTS that were significantly different from those in healthy controls with performances in executive function. Key Findings: Children with BECTS demonstrated significantly hypertrophied putamen, which was selective among the subcortical regions examined. Shape analysis showed dorsoventral elongation of the left caudate and bilateral putamen, with subnuclei expansion in ventral and dorsal striatum. Larger putamen volumes were linked to better cognitive performances on two complementary executive function tests. Significance: Children with BECTS showed aberrant volume and shape in subcortical regions that are critical for both motor processing and executive function. It is of importance to note that the hypertrophy appears to be cognitively adaptive, as enlargement was associated with improved cognitive performances. The anatomic abnormalities and their cognitive effects are evident in a group of children with new- and recent-onset epilepsy, suggesting that the structural brain anomalies occurred before the diagnosis of epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)677-685
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes
  • Cognition
  • Executive function
  • Shape analysis
  • Striatum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Striatal hypertrophy and its cognitive effects in new-onset benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this