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Bursts with high and low load of epileptiform spikes show context-dependent correlations in epileptic mice

August 16, 2019: Epileptic activity in the brain consists of synchronized activity of neurons in a region of the brain that jointly generate spikes of electrical activity. It is an open question whether bursts of a few of such spikes (“low-load events”) signal an increasing probability of severe events with more spikes (“high-load events”) – or if they instead reflect neuronal processes that prevents this. For ethical and technical reasons, this is difficult to test in patients and the few existing studies disagree. 
A research team from the Bernstein Center Freiburg analyzed these patterns in detail in a mouse model for a specific type of epilepsy (mesial temporal lobe epilepsy). Their work has now been published in eNeuro.

Bursts with high and low load of epileptiform spikes show context-dependent correlations in epileptic mice

Figure Legend see below. Click to view full-size image.


Such low-load events indeed had dual nature: If they were more frequent, the pauses between phases with severe events tended to be longer; however, their frequency also increased before severe activity. Additional research will be necessary to discriminate between these two situations and to identify the processes that create them. It is further unclear if these observations in mice can be compared to epileptic activity in humans.

Figure Legend
Low-load bursts might at times prevent the mouse from being dragged into more severe epileptic activity.

Original Publication (Featured Article / Research Highlight on eNeuro)
Heining K, Kilias A, Janz P, Häussler U, Kumar A, Haas CA, Egert U (2019) Bursts with high and low load of epileptiform spikes show context-dependent correlations in epileptic mice. eNeuro:10.1523/ENEURO.0299-18.2019

DOI:10.1523/ENEURO.0299-18.2019

Contact
Katharina Heining
Tel.: +49 (0)761 203 67744
E-mail: katharina.heining@bcf.uni-freiburg.de

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Egert
Tel.: +49 (0)761 203-7524
E-mail: egert@imtek.uni-freiburg.de

University of Freiburg
Bernstein Center Freiburg
Hansastr. 9a
79104 Freiburg
and
Faculty of Engineering
Biomicrotechnology, Dept. of Microsystems Engineering
Georges-Köhler-Allee 102
79110 Freiburg

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