Developmental Changes in the Frequency-Time Structure of Sleep Spindles on the EEG in Rats with a Genetic Predisposition to Absence Epilepsy (WAG/Rij)

Sitnikova, E.; Grubov, V.; Khramov, A.; Koronovskii, A.
March 2014
Neuroscience & Behavioral Physiology;Mar2014, Vol. 44 Issue 3, p301
Academic Journal
Sleep spindles are known to form spontaneously in the thalamocortical system during slow-wave sleep; pathological processes in the thalamocortical network may be the cause of absence epilepsy. The aim of the present work was to study developed changes in the frequency-time structure of sleep spindles during the progressive development of absence epilepsy in WAG/Rij rats. EEG recordings were made at age 5, 7, and 9 months using epidural electrodes implanted into the frontal cortex. Automatic recognition and subsequent analysis of sleep spindles on the EEG were performed using continuous wavelet transformation analysis. The duration of epileptic discharges and the total duration of epileptic activity were found to increase with age, while the duration of sleep spindles, conversely, decreased. In terms of mean frequency, sleep spindles could be divided into three classes: 'slow' (mean frequency 9.3 Hz), 'transitional' (11.4 Hz), and 'fast' (13.5 Hz). Slow and transitional spindles in five-month-old animals showed increases in frequency from the beginning of the spindle to the end. The more intense the epilepsy, the shorter the durations of spindles of all types. The mean frequencies of 'transitional' and 'fast' spindles were higher in rats with more intense signs of epilepsy. Overall, high epileptic activity in WAG/Rij rats was linked with significant changes in spindles of the transitional type, with less marked changes in the two traditionally identified types of spindle, slow and fast.


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