Among patients with intractable epilepsy, the most commonly performed surgical procedure is craniotomy for amygdalohippocampectomy (AH). Stereotactic laser amygdalohippocampotomy (SLAH) has also been recently employed as a minimally invasive treatment for intractable temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Among patients treated with AH and SLAH approximately 65% and 54% of patients become seizure-free, respectively. Therefore, selection criteria for surgical candidates with improved prognostic value for post-operative seizure-free outcome are greatly needed. In this study, we perform RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) on whole blood leukocyte samples taken from 16 patients with intractable TLE prior to SLAH to test the hypothesis that pre-operative leukocyte RNA expression profiles are prognostic for post-operative seizure outcome. Multidimensional scaling analysis of the RNA expression data indicated separate clustering of patients with seizure free (SF) and non-seizure-free (NSF) outcomes. Differential expression (DE) analysis performed on SF versus NSF groups revealed 24 significantly differentially expressed genes (≥2.0-fold change, p-value < 0.05, FDR <0.05). Network and pathway analyses identified differential activation of pathways involved in lipid metabolism, morphology of oligodendrocytes, inflammatory response, and development of astrocytes. These results suggest that pre-operative leukocyte expression profiles have prognostic value for seizure outcome following SLAH.
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