Microseizures and the spatiotemporal scales of human partial epilepsy

Squire Matthew Stead, Mark Bower, Benjamin Brinkmann, Kendall H Lee, W. Richard Marsh, Fredric B. Meyer, Brian Litt, Jamie Van Gompel, Gregory Alan Worrell

180 Scopus citations


Focal seizures appear to start abruptly and unpredictably when recorded from volumes of brain probed by clinical intracranial electroencephalograms. To investigate the spatiotemporal scale of focal epilepsy, wide-bandwidth electrophysiological recordings were obtained using clinical macro-and research microelectrodes in patients with epilepsy and control subjects with intractable facial pain. Seizure-like events not detectable on clinical macroelectrodes were observed on isolated microelectrodes. These 'microseizures' were sparsely distributed, more frequent in brain regions that generated seizures, and sporadically evolved into large-scale clinical seizures. Rare microseizures observed in control patients suggest that this phenomenon is ubiquitous, but their density distinguishes normal from epileptic brain. Epileptogenesis may involve the creation of these topographically fractured microdomains and ictogenesis (seizure generation), the dynamics of their interaction and spread.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2789-2797
Number of pages9
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2010



  • epilepsy
  • epileptogenesis
  • ictogenesis
  • intracranial EEG
  • microcircuit
  • microseizure
  • seizure
  • seizure generation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this