Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological conditions affecting over 65 million people worldwide. Over one third of people with epilepsy are considered refractory: they do not respond to drug treatments. For this significant cohort of people, surgery is a potentially transformative treatment. However, only a small minority of people with refractory epilepsy are considered suitable for surgery, and long-term seizure freedom is only achieved in half the cases. Recently, several computational approaches have been proposed to support presurgical planning. Typically, these approaches use a dynamic network model to explore the potential impact of surgical resection in silico. The network component of the model is informed by clinical imaging data and is considered static thereafter. This assumption critically overlooks the plasticity of the brain and, therefore, how continued evolution of the brain network post-surgery may impact upon the success of a resection in the longer term. In this work, we use a simplified dynamic network model, which describes transitions to seizures, to systematically explore how the network structure influences seizure propensity, both before and after virtual resections. We illustrate key results in small networks, before extending our findings to larger networks. We demonstrate how the evolution of brain networks post resection can result in a return to increased seizure propensity. Our results effectively determine the robustness of a given resection to possible network reconfigurations and so provide a potential strategy for optimizing long-term seizure freedom.
Epilepsy surgery: Evaluating robustness using dynamic network models
Note: This paper is part of the Focus Issue on Dynamical Disease: A Translational Perspective.
Leandro Junges, Wessel Woldman, Oscar J. Benjamin, John R. Terry; Epilepsy surgery: Evaluating robustness using dynamic network models. Chaos 1 November 2020; 30 (11): 113106. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0022171
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