Do Triphasic Waves and Nonconvulsive Status Epilepticus Arise From Similar Mechanisms? A Computational Model

Citation:

Sophie Ligtenstein, Jiangling Song, Jin Jing, Haoqi Sun, Luis Paixao, Sahar Zafar, and Brandon Westover. 6/18/2021. “Do Triphasic Waves and Nonconvulsive Status Epilepticus Arise From Similar Mechanisms? A Computational Model.” Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology. Publisher's Version

Abstract:

Purpose: 
Triphasic waves arising in patients with toxic metabolic encephalopathy (TME) are often considered different from generalized periodic discharges (GPDs) in patients with generalized nonconvulsive status epilepticus (GNCSE). The primary objective of this study was to investigate whether a common mechanism can explain key aspects of both triphasic waves in TME and GPDs in GNCSE.

Method: 
A neural mass model was used for the simulation of EEG patterns in patients with acute hepatic encephalopathy, a common etiology of TME. Increased neuronal excitability and impaired synaptic transmission because of elevated ammonia levels in acute hepatic encephalopathy patients were used to explain how triphasic waves and GNCSE arise. The effect of gamma-aminobutyric acid-ergic drugs on epileptiform activity, simulated with a prolonged duration of the inhibitory postsynaptic potential, was also studied.

Results: 
The simulations show that a model that includes increased neuronal excitability and impaired synaptic transmission can account for both the emergence of GPDs and GNCSE and their suppression by gamma-aminobutyric acid-ergic drugs.

Conclusions: 
The results of this study add to evidence from other studies calling into question the dichotomy between triphasic waves in TME and GPDs in GNCSE and support the hypothesis that all GPDs, including those arising in TME patients, occur via a common mechanism.