This study explored EEG characteristics over the life cycle of Dravet mice; that is, through the febrile, worsening, and stabilization stages. One common way to analyze EEG spectra is to compute the “power spectral density” (PSD) profile. The authors found that normal EEG patterns were observed at the febrile stage, however a marked reduction in PSD appeared in the worsening stage.

Interestingly, they found that lower PSD correlated with increased risk for premature death. This finding raises the intriguing possibility that such measurements could potentially be used as a marker for severity of the disease.

In addition, during their observations, the behavioral data indicated motor deficits and hyperactivity already at the febrile stage, prior to the onset of severe epilepsy – this suggests that the physiological mechanisms governing the emergence of behavioral issues might have a cause other than the epileptic phenotype.

Fadila, S, et al. Early EEG and behavioral alterations in Dravet mice. bioRxiv, Jan 14, 2020. DOI: 10.1101/2020.01.13.904557