Phase-Amplitude Coupling Localizes Pathologic Brain with Aid of Behavioral Staging in Sleep

Brent Berry, Yogatheesan Varatharajah, Vaclav Kremen, Michal Kucewicz, Hari Guragain, Benjamin Brinkmann, Juliano Duque, Diego Z. Carvalho, Matt Stead, Gary Sieck, Gregory Worrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Low frequency brain rhythms facilitate communication across large spatial regions in the brain and high frequency rhythms are thought to signify local processing among nearby assemblies. A heavily investigated mode by which these low frequency and high frequency phenomenon interact is phase-amplitude coupling (PAC). This phenomenon has recently shown promise as a novel electrophysiologic biomarker, in a number of neurologic diseases including human epilepsy. In 17 medically refractory epilepsy patients undergoing phase-2 monitoring for the evaluation of surgical resection and in whom temporal depth electrodes were implanted, we investigated the electrophysiologic relationships of PAC in epileptogenic (seizure onset zone or SOZ) and non-epileptogenic tissue (non-SOZ). That this biomarker can differentiate seizure onset zone from non-seizure onset zone has been established with ictal and pre-ictal data, but less so with interictal data. Here we show that this biomarker can differentiate SOZ from non-SOZ interictally and is also a function of interictal epileptiform discharges. We also show a differential level of PAC in slow-wave-sleep relative to NREM1-2 and awake states. Lastly, we show AUROC evaluation of the localization of SOZ is optimal when utilizing beta or alpha phase onto high-gamma or ripple band. The results suggest an elevated PAC may reflect an electrophysiology-based biomarker for abnormal/epileptogenic brain regions.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1186
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023


  • behavioral staging
  • phase-amplitude coupling
  • epilepsy
  • phase-amplitude coupling (PAC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Palaeontology
  • Space and Planetary Science


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