Active brain stimulation to abate epileptic seizures has shown mixed success. In spike-wave (SW) seizures, where the seizure and background state were proposed to coexist, single-pulse stimulations have been suggested to be able to terminate the seizure prematurely. However, several factors can impact success in such a bistable setting. The factors contributing to this have not been fully investigated on a theoretical and mechanistic basis. Our aim is to elucidate mechanisms that influence the success of single-pulse stimulation in noise-induced SW seizures. In this work, we study a neural population model of SW seizures that allows the reconstruction of the basin of attraction of the background activity as a four dimensional geometric object. For the deterministic (noise-free) case, we show how the success of response to stimuli depends on the amplitude and phase of the SW cycle, in addition to the direction of the stimulus in state space. In the case of spontaneous noise-induced seizures, the basin becomes probabilistic introducing some degree of uncertainty to the stimulation outcome while maintaining qualitative features of the noise-free case. Additionally, due to the different time scales involved in SW generation, there is substantial variation between SW cycles, implying that there may not be a fixed set of optimal stimulation parameters for SW seizures. In contrast, the model suggests an adaptive approach to find optimal stimulation parameters patient-specifically, based on real-time estimation of the position in state space. We discuss how the modelling work can be exploited to rationally design a successful stimulation protocol for the abatement of SW seizures using real-time SW detection.
Taylor, P. N., Wang, Y., Marc, G., Justin, D., Friederike, M., Ulrich, S., & Gerold, B. (2014). A computational study of stimulus driven epileptic seizure abatement. PLoS ONE, 9(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0114316