|Title||Modeling pathogenesis and treatment response in childhood absence epilepsy|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2018|
|Authors||Knox, A. T., Glauser T., Tenney J., Lytton WW., & Holland K.|
|Keywords||computer model of epilepsy, multiscale thalamocortical model, polygenic epilepsy|
OBJECTIVE: Childhood absence epilepsy (CAE) is a genetic generalized epilepsy syndrome with polygenic inheritance, with genes for $\gamma$-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors and T-type calcium channels implicated in the disorder. Previous studies of T-type calcium channel electrophysiology have shown genetic changes and medications have multiple effects. The aim of this study was to use an established thalamocortical computer model to determine how T-type calcium channels work in concert with cortical excitability to contribute to pathogenesis and treatment response in CAE. METHODS: The model is comprised of cortical pyramidal, cortical inhibitory, thalamocortical relay, and thalamic reticular single-compartment neurons, implemented with Hodgkin-Huxley model ion channels and connected by AMPA, GABAA , and GABAB synapses. Network behavior was simulated for different combinations of T-type calcium channel conductance, inactivation time, steady state activation/inactivation shift, and cortical GABAA conductance. RESULTS: Decreasing cortical GABAA conductance and increasing T-type calcium channel conductance converted spindle to spike and wave oscillations; smaller changes were required if both were changed in concert. In contrast, left shift of steady state voltage activation/inactivation did not lead to spike and wave oscillations, whereas right shift reduced network propensity for oscillations of any type. SIGNIFICANCE: These results provide a window into mechanisms underlying polygenic inheritance in CAE, as well as a mechanism for treatment effects and failures mediated by these channels. Although the model is a simplification of the human thalamocortical network, it serves as a useful starting point for predicting the implications of ion channel electrophysiology in polygenic epilepsy such as CAE.