, Volume 107, Issue 1, pp 83-94

Towards a large-scale model of patient-specific epileptic spike-wave discharges

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Clinical electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings of the transition into generalised epileptic seizures show a sudden onset of spike-wave dynamics from a low-amplitude irregular background. In addition, non-trivial and variable spatio-temporal dynamics are widely reported in combined EEG/fMRI studies on the scale of the whole cortex. It is unknown whether these characteristics can be accounted for in a large-scale mathematical model with fixed heterogeneous long-range connectivities. Here, we develop a modelling framework with which to investigate such EEG features. We show that a neural field model composed of a few coupled compartments can serve as a low-dimensional prototype for the transition between irregular background dynamics and spike-wave activity. This prototype then serves as a node in a large-scale network with long-range connectivities derived from human diffusion-tensor imaging data. We examine multivariate properties in 42 clinical EEG seizure recordings from 10 patients diagnosed with typical absence epilepsy and 50 simulated seizures from the large-scale model using 10 DTI connectivity sets from humans. The model can reproduce the clinical feature of stereotypy where seizures are more similar within a patient than between patients, essentially creating a patient-specific fingerprint. We propose the approach as a feasible technique for the investigation of patient-specific large-scale epileptic features in space and time.