Interictal epileptiform discharges impair word recall in multiple brain areas

Peter C. Horak, Stephen Meisenhelter, Yinchen Song, Markus E. Testorf, Michael J. Kahana, Weston D. Viles, Krzysztof A. Bujarski, Andrew C. Connolly, Ashlee A. Robbins, Michael R. Sperling, Ashwini D. Sharan, Gregory A. Worrell, Laura R. Miller, Robert E. Gross, Kathryn A. Davis, David W. Roberts, Bradley Lega, Sameer A. Sheth, Kareem A. Zaghloul, Joel M. SteinSandhitsu R. Das, Daniel S. Rizzuto, Barbara C. Jobst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Objectives: Interictal epileptiform discharges (IEDs) have been linked to memory impairment, but the spatial and temporal dynamics of this relationship remain elusive. In the present study, we aim to systematically characterize the brain areas and times at which IEDs affect memory. Methods: Eighty epilepsy patients participated in a delayed free recall task while undergoing intracranial electroencephalography (EEG) monitoring. We analyzed the locations and timing of IEDs relative to the behavioral data in order to measure their effects on memory. Results: Overall IED rates did not correlate with task performance across subjects (r = 0.03, p = 0.8). However, at a finer temporal scale, within-subject memory was negatively affected by IEDs during the encoding and recall periods of the task but not during the rest and distractor periods (p < 0.01, p < 0.001, p = 0.3, and p = 0.8, respectively). The effects of IEDs during encoding and recall were stronger in the left hemisphere than in the right (p < 0.05). Of six brain areas analyzed, IEDs in the inferior-temporal, medial-temporal, and parietal areas significantly affected memory (false discovery rate < 0.05). Significance: These findings reveal a network of brain areas sensitive to IEDs with key nodes in temporal as well as parietal lobes. They also demonstrate the time-dependent effects of IEDs in this network on memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-380
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Brain mapping
  • Electrocorticography
  • Epilepsy
  • Interictal spikes
  • Memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Interictal epileptiform discharges impair word recall in multiple brain areas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this