Scientific publications

Independent component analysis in the study of focal seizures

Dec 1, 2006 | Magazine: The Journal of Clinical Neurophisiology

Iriarte, Jorge (1); Urrestarazu, Elena (1); Artieda, Julio (1); Valencia, Miguel (1); LeVan, Pierre (2); Viteri, Cesar (1); Alegre, Manuel (1)
(1) Clinical Neurophysiology Section, Department of Neurology, Clinica Universitaria/ Foundation for Applied Medical Research, School of Medicine, University of Navarra
(2) Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Montreal, Canada


Independent component analysis (ICA) is a novel technique that can separate statistically independent elements from complex signals. It has demonstrated its utility in separating artifacts and analyzing interictal discharges in EEG. ICA has been used recently in ictal recordings, showing the possibility of isolating the ictal activity. The goal of our study was to analyze focal seizures with ICA, decomposing the elements of the seizures to understand their genesis and propagation, and to differentiate between various types of focal seizures. We studied 26 focal seizures of temporal, frontal, or parietal origin. Only seizures with suspected focal onset were included in the study.

The EEG recordings were acquired by using standard video-EEG equipment, with scalp electrodes. All the off-line analysis was carried out on a PC by means of specific software developed in the Matlab environment. ICA components were calculated with the use of the JADE (Joint Approximate Diagonalization of Eigen-matrices) algorithm. The decomposition of the seizures varied according to the EEG seizure pattern. In the seizures with focal rhythmic theta slow or sharp waves, the rhythmic activity was separated into one to five components, having an initial component with a clear concordance with the focus, whereas the others had an onset a few milliseconds later and corresponded to neighboring areas. In the 6 frontal seizures with regional rhythmic low voltage fast activity, 4 to 10 components were found, practically with a simultaneous timing, having a frontal distribution. In the three frontal seizures with a diffuse attenuation of the EEG signal, it was not possible to differentiate components of cerebral origin from the components of muscle artifact. ICA is an interesting tool to study the nature of focal seizures.

The results depend on the EEG pattern. In the seizures with a clear EEG focal pattern, ICA may be useful to separate components of the ictal onset from the propagated activity.

CITATION J Clin Neurophysiol. 2006 Dec;23(6):551-8