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Microelectrode recordings in human epilepsy: a case for clinical translation

Chari, A; Thornton, RC; Tisdall, MM; Scott, RC; (2020) Microelectrode recordings in human epilepsy: a case for clinical translation. Brain Communications , 2 (2) , Article fcaa082. 10.1093/braincomms/fcaa082. Green open access

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Abstract

With their ‘all-or-none’ action potential responses, single neurons (or units) are accepted as the basic computational unit of the brain. There is extensive animal literature to support the mechanistic importance of studying neuronal firing as a way to understand neuronal microcircuits and brain function. Although most studies have emphasized physiology, there is increasing recognition that studying single units provides novel insight into system-level mechanisms of disease. Microelectrode recordings are becoming more common in humans, paralleling the increasing use of intracranial electroencephalography recordings in the context of presurgical evaluation in focal epilepsy. In addition to single-unit data, microelectrode recordings also record local field potentials and high-frequency oscillations, some of which may be different to that recorded by clinical macroelectrodes. However, microelectrodes are being used almost exclusively in research contexts and there are currently no indications for incorporating microelectrode recordings into routine clinical care. In this review, we summarize the lessons learnt from 65 years of microelectrode recordings in human epilepsy patients. We cover the electrode constructs that can be utilized, principles of how to record and process microelectrode data and insights into ictal dynamics, interictal dynamics and cognition. We end with a critique on the possibilities of incorporating single-unit recordings into clinical care, with a focus on potential clinical indications, each with their specific evidence base and challenges.

Type: Article
Title: Microelectrode recordings in human epilepsy: a case for clinical translation
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/braincomms/fcaa082
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/braincomms/fcaa082
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact journals.permissions@oup.com
Keywords: microelectrode, single units, extracellular action potential, stereoelectroencephalography, subdural grid
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Developmental Neurosciences Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10111045
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