Identification of preseizure states in epilepsy: a data-driven approach for multichannel EEG recordings

Hinnerk Feldwisch-Drentrup, Matthaeus Staniek, Andreas Schulze-Bonhage, Jens Timmer, Henning Dickten, Christian E. Elger, Bjoern Schelter, Klaus Lehnertz

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25 Citations (Scopus)


The retrospective identification of preseizure states usually bases on a time-resolved characterization of dynamical aspects of multichannel neurophysiologic recordings that can be assessed with measures from linear or non-linear time series analysis. This approach renders time profiles of a characterizing measure - so-called measure profiles - for different recording sites or combinations thereof. Various downstream evaluation techniques have been proposed to single out measure profiles that carry potential information about preseizure states. These techniques, however, rely on assumptions about seizure precursor dynamics that might not be generally valid or face the statistical problem of multiple testing. Addressing these issues, we have developed a method to preselect measure profiles that carry potential information about preseizure states, and to identify brain regions associated with seizure precursor dynamics. Our data-driven method is based on the ratio S of the global to local temporal variance of measure profiles. We evaluated its suitability by retrospectively analyzing long-lasting multichannel intracranial EEG recordings from 18 patients that included 133 focal onset seizures, using a bivariate measure for the strength of interactions. In 17/18 patients, we observed S to be significantly correlated with the predictive performance of measure profiles assessed retrospectively by means of receiver-operating-characteristic statistics. Predictive performance was higher for measure profiles preselected with S than for a manual selection using information about onset and spread of seizures. Across patients, highest predictive performance was not restricted to recordings from focal areas, thus supporting the notion of an extended epileptic network in which even distant brain regions contribute to seizure generation. We expect our method to provide further insight into the complex spatial and temporal aspects of the seizure generating process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number32
Number of pages9
JournalFrontiers in Computational Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2011


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