, Volume 60, Issue 6, pp 635–641 | Cite as

Brain morphological and microstructural features in cryptogenic late-onset temporal lobe epilepsy: a structural and diffusion MRI study

  • Daichi Sone
  • Noriko Sato
  • Yukio Kimura
  • Yutaka Watanabe
  • Mitsutoshi Okazaki
  • Hiroshi Matsuda
Functional Neuroradiology



Although epilepsy in the elderly has attracted attention recently, there are few systematic studies of neuroimaging in such patients. In this study, we used structural MRI and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to investigate the morphological and microstructural features of the brain in late-onset temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE).


We recruited patients with TLE and an age of onset > 50 years (late-TLE group) and age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers (control group). 3-Tesla MRI scans, including 3D T1-weighted images and 15-direction DTI, showed normal findings on visual assessment in both groups. We used Statistical Parametric Mapping 12 (SPM12) for gray and white matter structural normalization and comparison and used Tract-Based Spatial Statistics (TBSS) for fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity comparisons of DTI. In both methods, p < 0.05 (family-wise error) was considered statistically significant.


In total, 30 patients with late-onset TLE (mean ± SD age, 66.8 ± 8.4; mean ± SD age of onset, 63.0 ± 7.6 years) and 40 healthy controls (mean ± SD age, 66.6 ± 8.5 years) were enrolled. The late-onset TLE group showed significant gray matter volume increases in the bilateral amygdala and anterior hippocampus and significantly reduced mean diffusivity in the left temporofrontal lobe, internal capsule, and brainstem. No significant changes were evident in white matter volume or fractional anisotropy.


Our findings may reflect some characteristics or mechanisms of cryptogenic TLE in the elderly, such as inflammatory processes.


Temporal lobe epilepsy Late-onset epilepsy Epilepsy in the elderly Voxel-based morphometry Diffusion tensor imaging 


Compliance with ethical standards


This study was funded in part by grants from the Japan Epilepsy Research Foundation (JERF TENKAN 17009) and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (KAKENHI Grant Number JP17H07385) (both to DS).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryNational Center of Neurology and PsychiatryTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Integrative Brain Imaging CenterNational Center of Neurology and PsychiatryKodairaJapan
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyNational Center of Neurology and PsychiatryTokyoJapan

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