The recording of EEG during functional MRI scanning (EEG/fMRI) has opened up new dimensions in brain research. The simultaneous recording of EEG activity and its temparospatial haemodynamic correlates is a powerful tool in the non-invasive mapping of normal and pathological brain function. The technological constraints imposed by having a conductor (the EEG) within the magnetic environment of the MRI scanner have been sufficiently overcome for high quality EEG recording during MRI. The initial applications of EEG/fMRI were in the study of epileptiform discharges in epilepsy. This has been rapidly followed by studies of normal EEG rhythms and evoked response in healthy subjects. The ability to map brain areas involved in the generation of epileptiform discharges recorded on the surface EEG has been shown using EEG/fMRI in patients with epilepsy. This has potential clinical applications in providing additional localizing information in the pre-surgical workup of epilepsy patients and in gaining a greater understanding of the neurobiology of interictal epileptiform discharges and epileptic seizures. In this review we address the issues in recording EEG during fMRI and review the application of EEG/fMRI in the study of patients with epilepsy at our centre.
*Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, Institute of Neurology, University College London, Queen Square, London, United Kingdom; †MRI Unit, National Society for Epilepsy, Chalfont St. Peter, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom; ‡Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London, United Kingdom
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Louis Lemieux, MRI Unit, National Society for Epilepsy, Chalfont St. Peter, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org