Seizure onset location shapes dynamics of initiation

Clin Neurophysiol. 2020 Aug;131(8):1782-1797. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2020.04.168. Epub 2020 May 29.


Objective: Ictal electrographic patterns are widely thought to reflect underlying neural mechanisms of seizures. Here we studied the degree to which seizure patterns are consistent in a given patient, relate to particular brain regions and if two candidate biomarkers (high-frequency oscillations, HFOs; infraslow activity, ISA) and network activity, as assessed with cross-frequency interactions, can discriminate between seizure types.

Methods: We analyzed temporal changes in low and high frequency oscillations recorded during seizures, as well as phase-amplitude coupling (PAC) to monitor the interactions between delta/theta and ripple/fast ripple frequency bands at seizure onset.

Results: Seizures of multiple electrographic patterns were observed in a given patient and brain region. While there was an increase in HFO rate across different electrographic patterns, there are specific relationships between types of HFO activity and onset region. Similarly, changes in PAC dynamics were more closely related to seizure onset region than they were to electrographic patterns while ISA was a poor indicator for seizure onset.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the onset region sculpts neurodynamics at seizure initiation and that unique features of the cytoarchitecture and/or connectivity of that region play a significant role in determining seizure mechanism.

Significance: To learn how seizures are initiated, researchers would do well to consider other aspects of their manifestation, in addition to their electrographic patterns. Examination of onset pattern in conjunction with the interactions between different oscillatory frequencies in the context of different brain regions might be more informative and lead to more reliable clinical inference as well as novel therapeutic approaches.

Keywords: High-frequency oscillation; Infraslow-activity; Phase-amplitude coupling; Seizure generation; Seizure onset-pattern.

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

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Brain Waves / physiology*
  • Child
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Seizures / physiopathology*
  • Young Adult