Objective: To investigate whether indicators of cortical excitability are good biomarkers of seizure controllability in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Materials and Methods: Three groups of subjects were recruited: those with poorly controlled (PC) TLE (N = 41), well-controlled (WC) TLE (N = 71), and healthy controls (N = 44). Short- and long-latency recovery curves were obtained by paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation. Linear mixed effect models were used to study the effects of group, interstimulus interval (ISI), and antiepileptic drugs on long-interval intracortical inhibition (LICI) and short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) and intracortical facilitation (ICF). Results: The mixed effect model that did not incorporate antiepileptic drugs showed that group and ISI were significant factors for LICI and SICI/ICF. LICI in the healthy control group was greater than in the two epilepsy groups, and the difference was significant at ISIs of 50, 150, and 200 msec. In contrast, SICI/ICF in the PC group was greater than in the healthy control and WC groups, and the difference was significant at an ISI of 15 msec. However, due to large variance, it was difficult to identify a cutoff value with both good sensitivity and good specificity. Incorporating the information of antiepileptic drugs to the mixed effect model did not change the overall results. Conclusions: Although LICI and SICI/ICF parameters were significantly different at the group level, they may not be suitable biomarkers for the controllability of TLE at the subject level.
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