Epilepsy is a brain disorder consisting of abnormal electrical discharges of neurons resulting in epileptic seizures. The nature and spatial distribution of these electrical signals make epilepsy a field for the analysis of brain connectivity using artificial intelligence and network analysis techniques since their study requires large amounts of data over large spatial and temporal scales. For example, to discriminate states that would otherwise be indistinguishable from the human eye. This paper aims to identify the different brain states that appear concerning the intriguing seizure type of epileptic spasms. Once these states have been differentiated, an attempt is made to understand their corresponding brain activity.
The representation of brain connectivity can be done by graphing the topology and intensity of brain activations. Graph images from different instants within and outside the actual seizure are used as input to a deep learning model for classification purposes. This work uses convolutional neural networks to discriminate the different states of the epileptic brain based on the appearance of these graphs at different times. Next, we apply several graph metrics as an aid to interpret what happens in the brain regions during and around the seizure.
Results show that the model consistently finds distinctive brain states in children with epilepsy with focal onset epileptic spasms that are indistinguishable under the expert visual inspection of EEG traces. Furthermore, differences are found in brain connectivity and network measures in each of the different states.
Computer-assisted discrimination using this model can detect subtle differences in the various brain states of children with epileptic spasms. The research reveals previously undisclosed information regarding brain connectivity and networks, allowing for a better understanding of the pathophysiology and evolving characteristics of this particular seizure type. From our data, we speculate that the prefrontal, premotor, and motor cortices could be more involved in a hypersynchronized state occurring in the few seconds immediately preceding the visually evident EEG and clinical ictal features of the first spasm in a cluster. On the other hand, a disconnection in centro-parietal areas seems a relevant feature in the predisposition and repetitive generation of epileptic spasms within clusters.

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