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Rodent models of absence seizures are used to investigate the network properties and regulatory mechanisms of the seizure's generalized spike and wave discharge (SWD). As rats age, SWDs occur more frequently, suggesting aging-related changes in the regulation of the corticothalamic mechanisms generating the SWD. We hypothesized that brain resetting mechanisms - how the brain "resets" itself to a more normal functional state following a transient period of abnormal function, e.g., a SWD - are impaired in aged animals and that brain infarction would further affect these resetting mechanisms. The main objective of this study was to determine the effects of aging, infarction, and their potential interaction on the resetting of EEG dynamics assessed by quantitative EEG (qEEG) measures of linear (signal energy measured by amplitude variation; signal frequency measured by mean zero-crossings) and nonlinear (signal complexity measured by the pattern match regularity statistic and the short-term maximum Lyapunov exponent) brain EEG dynamics in 4- and 20-month-old F344 rats with and without brain infarction. The main findings of the study were: 1) dynamic resetting of both linear and nonlinear EEG characteristics occurred following SWDs; 2) animal age significantly affected the degree of dynamic resetting in all four qEEG measures: SWDs in older rats exhibited a lower degree of dynamic resetting; 3) infarction significantly affected the degree of dynamic resetting only in terms of EEG signal complexity: SWDs in infarcted rats exhibited a lower degree of dynamic resetting; and 4) in all four qEEG measures, there was no significant interaction effect between age and infarction on dynamic resetting. We conclude that recovery of the brain to its interictal state following SWDs was better in young adult animals compared with aged animals, and to a lesser degree, in age-matched controls compared with infarction-injured animal groups, suggesting possible effects of brain resetting mechanisms and/or the disruption of the epileptogenic network that triggers SWDs.

Original publication




Journal article


Exp Neurol

Publication Date





15 - 21


Aging, Animals, Brain, Cerebral Infarction, Disease Models, Animal, Electroencephalography, Rats, Rats, Inbred F344