A taxonomy of seizure dynamotypes

Maria Luisa Saggio, Dakota Crisp, Jared M. Scott, Philippa Karoly, Levin Kuhlmann, Mitsuyoshi Nakatani, Tomohiko Murai, Matthias Dümpelmann, Andreas Schulze-Bonhage, Akio Ikeda, Mark Cook, Stephen V. Gliske, Jack Lin, Christophe Bernard, Viktor Jirsa, William C. Stacey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


Seizures are a disruption of normal brain activity present across a vast range of species and conditions. We introduce an organizing principle that leads to the first objective Taxonomy of Seizure Dynamics (TSD) based on bifurcation theory. The 'dynamotype' of a seizure is the dynamic composition that defines its observable characteristics, including how it starts, evolves and ends. Analyzing over 2000 focal-onset seizures from multiple centers, we find evidence of all 16 dynamotypes predicted in TSD. We demonstrate that patients' dynamotypes evolve during their lifetime and display complex but systematic variations including hierarchy (certain types are more common), non-bijectivity (a patient may display multiple types) and pairing preference (multiple types may occur during one seizure). TSD provides a way to stratify patients in complement to present clinical classifications, a language to describe the most critical features of seizure dynamics, and a framework to guide future research focused on dynamical properties.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages56
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2020


  • bifurcation
  • computational biology
  • dynamics
  • epilepsy
  • human
  • intracranial EEG
  • neuroscience
  • seizure
  • systems biology

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