EEG-correlated fMRI can provide localisation information on the generators of epileptiform discharges in patients with focal epilepsy. To increase the technique's clinical potential, it is important to consider ways of optimising the yield of each experiment while minimizing the risk of false-positive activation. Head motion can lead to severe image degradation and result in false-positive activation and is usually worse in patients than in healthy subjects. We performed general linear model fMRI data analysis on simultaneous EEG–fMRI data acquired in 34 cases with focal epilepsy. Signal changes associated with large inter-scan motion events (head jerks) were modelled using modified design matrices that include ‘scan nulling’ regressors. We evaluated the efficacy of this approach by mapping the proportion of the brain for which F-tests across the additional regressors were significant. In 95% of cases, there was a significant effect of motion in 50% of the brain or greater; for the scan nulling effect, the proportion was 36%; this effect was predominantly in the neocortex. We conclude that careful consideration of the motion-related effects in fMRI studies of patients with epilepsy is essential and that the proposed approach can be effective
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