Intracranial electroencephalography is a standard tool in clinical evaluation of patients with focal epilepsy. Various early electrographic seizure patterns differing in frequency, amplitude, and waveform of the oscillations are observed. The pattern most common in the areas of seizure propagation is the so-called theta-alpha activity (TAA), whose defining features are oscillations in the theta-alpha range and gradually increasing amplitude. A deeper understanding of the mechanism underlying the generation of the TAA pattern is however lacking. In this work we evaluate the hypothesis that the TAA patterns are caused by seizures spreading across the cortex. To do so, we perform simulations of seizure dynamics on detailed patient-derived cortical surfaces using the spreading seizure model as well as reference models with one or two homogeneous sources. We then detect the occurrences of the TAA patterns both in the simulated stereo-electroencephalographic signals and in the signals of recorded epileptic seizures from a cohort of fifty patients, and we compare the features of the groups of detected TAA patterns to assess the plausibility of the different models. Our results show that spreading seizure hypothesis is qualitatively consistent with the evidence available in the seizure recordings, and it can explain the features of the detected TAA groups best among the examined models.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience