Journal article

The piriform cortex and human focal epilepsy

David N Vaughan, Graeme D Jackson



It is surprising that the piriform cortex, when compared to the hippocampus, has been given relatively little significance in human epilepsy. Like the hippocampus, it has a phylogenetically preserved three-layered cortex that is vulnerable to excitotoxic injury, has broad connections to both limbic and cortical areas, and is highly epileptogenic - being critical to the kindling process. The well-known phenomenon of early olfactory auras in temporal lobe epilepsy highlights its clinical relevance in human beings. Perhaps because it is anatomically indistinct and difficult to approach surgically, as it clasps the middle cerebral artery, it has, until now, been understandably neglected. In this..

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Awarded by National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC)

Funding Acknowledgements

We thank Prof Matthias Koepp for providing the imaging data for Figure 3A. We acknowledge the work of Dr John Archer, Prof Gavin Fabinyi, and Prof Renate Kalnins in providing the electrophysiology, neurosurgery and histopathological data presented in the case report. This study was supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC Project Grant 628952, Practitioner Fellowship 1060312 and Postgraduate Scholarship 1055877), and by the Operational Infrastructure Support Program of the State Government of Victoria.