Reduced small world brain connectivity in probands with a family history of epilepsy

R. D. Bharath, G. Chaitanya, R. Panda, K. Raghavendra, S. Sinha, A. Sahoo, S. Gohel, B. B. Biswal, P. Satishchandra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background and purpose: The role of inheritance in ascertaining susceptibility to epilepsy is well established, although the pathogenetic mechanisms are still not very clear. Interviewing for a positive family history is a popular epidemiological tool in the understanding of this susceptibility. Our aim was to visualize and localize network abnormalities that could be associated with a positive family history in a group of patients with hot water epilepsy (HWE) using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI). Methods: Graph theory analysis of rsfMRI (clustering coefficient γ; path length λ; small worldness σ) in probands with a positive family history of epilepsy (FHE+, 25) were compared with probands without FHE (FHE−, 33). Whether a closer biological relationship was associated with a higher likelihood of network abnormalities was also ascertained. Results: A positive family history of epilepsy had decreased γ, increased λ and decreased σ in bilateral temporofrontal regions compared to FHE− (false discovery rate corrected P ≤ 0.0062). These changes were more pronounced in probands having first degree relatives and siblings with epilepsy. Probands with multiple types of epilepsy in the family showed decreased σ in comparison to only HWE in the family. Conclusion: Graph theory analysis of the rsfMRI can be used to understand the neurobiology of diseases like genetic susceptibility in HWE. Reduced small worldness, proportional to the degree of relationship, is consistent with the current understanding that disease severity is higher in closer biological relations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1729-1737
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Neurology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


  • clustering coefficient
  • family history of epilepsy
  • hot water epilepsy
  • path length
  • small worldness


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