Early detection of human focal seizures based on cortical multiunit activity

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2014;2014:5796-9. doi: 10.1109/EMBC.2014.6944945.


Approximately 50 million people in the world suffer from epileptic seizures. Reliable early seizure detection could bring significantly beneficial therapeutic alternatives. In recent decades, most approaches have relied on scalp EEG and intracranial EEG signals, but practical early detection for closed-loop seizure control remains challenging. In this study, we present preliminary analyses of an early detection approach based on intracortical neuronal multiunit activity (MUA) recorded from a 96-microelectrode array (MEA). The approach consists of (1) MUA detection from broadband field potentials recorded at 30 kHz by the MEA; (2) MUA feature extraction; (3) cost-sensitive support vector machine classification of ictal and interictal samples; and (4) Kalman-filtering postprocessing. MUA was here defined as the number of threshold crossing (spike counts) applied to the 300 Hz-6 kHz bandpass filtered local field potentials in 0.1 sec time windows. MUA features explored in this study included the mean, variance, and Fano-factor, computed across the MEA channels. In addition, we used the leading eigenvalues of MUA spatial and temporal correlation matrices computed in 1-sec moving time windows. We assessed the seizure detection approach on out-of-sample data from one-participant recordings with six seizure events and 4.73-hour interictal data. The proposed MUA-based detection approach yielded a 100% sensitivity (6/6) and no false positives, and a latency of 4.17 ± 2.27 sec (mean ± SD) with respect to ECoG-identified seizure onsets. These preliminary results indicate intracortical MUA may be a useful signal for early detection of human epileptic seizures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Early Diagnosis
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Seizures / diagnosis*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Support Vector Machine