Adaptive control of epileptiform excitability in an in vitro model of limbic seizures.
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a promising tool for treating drug-resistant epileptic patients. Currently, the most common approach is fixed-frequency stimulation (periodic pacing) by means of stimulating devices that operate under open-loop control. However, a drawback of this DBS strategy is the impossibility of tailoring a personalized treatment, which also limits the optimization of the stimulating apparatus. Here, we propose a novel DBS methodology based on a closed-loop control strategy, developed by exploiting statistical machine learning techniques, in which stimulation parameters are adapted to the current neural activity thus allowing for seizure suppression that is fine-tuned on the individual scale (adaptive stimulation). By means of field potential recording from adult rat hippocampus-entorhinal cortex (EC) slices treated with the convulsant drug 4-aminopyridine we determined the effectiveness of this approach compared to low-frequency periodic pacing, and found that the closed-loop stimulation strategy: (i) has similar efficacy as low-frequency periodic pacing in suppressing ictal-like events but (ii) is more efficient than periodic pacing in that it requires less electrical pulses. We also provide evidence that the closed-loop stimulation strategy can alternatively be employed to tune the frequency of a periodic pacing strategy. Our findings indicate that the adaptive stimulation strategy may represent a novel, promising approach to DBS for individually-tailored epilepsy treatment. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.