The epileptic network is characterized by pathologic, seizure-generating ‘foci’ embedded in a web of structural and functional connections.
Clinically, seizure foci are considered optimal targets for surgery. However, poor surgical outcome suggests a complex relationship between foci and the surrounding network that drives seizure dynamics.
Authors developed a novel technique to objectively track seizure states from dynamic functional networks constructed from intracranial recordings. Each dynamical state captures unique patterns of network connections that indicate synchronized and desynchronized hubs of neural populations.
The approach suggests that seizures are generated when synchronous relationships near foci work in tandem with rapidly changing desynchronous relationships from the surrounding epileptic network.
As seizures progress, topographical and geometrical changes in network connectivity strengthen and tighten synchronous connectivity near foci—a mechanism that may aid seizure termination.
Collectively, our observations implicate distributed cortical structures in seizure generation, propagation and termination, and may have practical significance in determining which circuits to modulate with implantable devices.