In this paper, we investigate the dynamical scenarios of transitions between normal and paroxysmal state in epilepsy. We assume that some epileptic neural network are bistable i.e., they feature two operational states, ictal and interictal that co-exist. The transitions between these two states may occur according to a Poisson process, a random walk process or as a result of deterministic time-dependent mechanisms. We analyze data from animal models of absence epilepsy, human epilepsies and in vitro models. The distributions of durations of ictal and interictal epochs are fitted with a gamma distribution. On the basis of qualitative features of the fits, we identify the dynamical processes that may have generated the underlying data. The analysis showed that the following hold. 1) The dynamics of ictal epochs differ from those of interictal states. 2) Seizure initiation can be accounted for by a random walk process while seizure termination is often mediated by deterministic mechanisms. 3) In certain cases, the transitions between ictal and interictal states can be modeled by a Poisson process operating in a bistable network. These results imply that exact prediction of seizure occurrence is not possible but termination of an ictal state by appropriate counter stimulation might be feasible.
P. Suffczynski, F. D. Silva, J. Parra
IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering