Validating EEG, MEG and Combined MEG and EEG Beamforming for an Estimation of the Epileptogenic Zone in Focal Cortical Dysplasia

Frank Neugebauer, Marios Antonakakis, Kanjana Unnwongse, Yaroslav Parpaley, Jörg Wellmer, Stefan Rampp, Carsten H. Wolters

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MEG and EEG source analysis is frequently used for the presurgical evaluation of phar-macoresistant epilepsy patients. The source localization of the epileptogenic zone depends, among other aspects, on the selected inverse and forward approaches and their respective parameter choices. In this validation study, we compare the standard dipole scanning method with two beamformer approaches for the inverse problem, and we investigate the influence of the covariance estimation method and the strength of regularization on the localization performance for EEG, MEG, and combined EEG and MEG. For forward modelling, we investigate the difference between calibrated six-compartment and standard three-compartment head modelling. In a retrospective study, two patients with focal epilepsy due to focal cortical dysplasia type IIb and seizure freedom following le-sionectomy or radiofrequency-guided thermocoagulation (RFTC) used the distance of the localization of interictal epileptic spikes to the resection cavity resp. RFTC lesion as reference for good localization. We found that beamformer localization can be sensitive to the choice of the regularization parameter, which has to be individually optimized. Estimation of the covariance matrix with averaged spike data yielded more robust results across the modalities. MEG was the dominant modality and provided a good localization in one case, while it was EEG for the other. When combining the modalities, the good results of the dominant modality were mostly not spoiled by the weaker modality. For appropriate regularization parameter choices, the beamformer localized better than the standard dipole scan. Compared to the importance of an appropriate regularization, the sensitivity of the localization to the head modelling was smaller, due to similar skull conductivity modelling and the fixed source space without orientation constraint.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Beamformer
  • EEG
  • Epilepsy
  • MEG
  • Regularization
  • Source analysis
  • Validation

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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