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Keywords:

  • dis-inhibition;
  • gamma band activity;
  • interneuronal circuits;
  • intracerebral EEG

Abstract

This paper focuses on high-frequency (gamma band) EEG activity, the most characteristic electrophysiological pattern in focal seizures of human epilepsy. It starts with recent hypotheses about: (i) the behaviour of inhibitory interneurons in hippocampal or neocortical networks in the generation of gamma frequency oscillations; (ii) the nonuniform alteration of GABAergic inhibition in experimental epilepsy (reduced dendritic inhibition and increased somatic inhibition); and (iii) the possible depression of GABAA,fast circuit activity by GABAA,slow inhibitory postsynaptic currents. In particular, these hypotheses are introduced in a new computational macroscopic model of EEG activity that includes a physiologically relevant fast inhibitory feedback loop. Results show that strikingly realistic activity is produced by the model when compared to real EEG signals recorded with intracerebral electrodes. They show that, in the model, the transition from interictal to fast ictal activity is explained by the impairment of dendritic inhibition.