Drug-induced modification of the system properties associated with spontaneous human electroencephalographic activity.

Physical review. E, Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics

PubMedID: 14682819

Liley DT, Cadusch PJ, Gray M, Nathan PJ. Drug-induced modification of the system properties associated with spontaneous human electroencephalographic activity. Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2003;68(5 Pt 1):051906.
The benzodiazepine (BZ) class of minor tranquilizers are important modulators of the gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA(A))/BZ receptor complex that are well known to affect the spectral properties of spontaneous electroencephalographic activity. While it is experimentally well established that the BZs reduce total alpha band (8-13 Hz) power and increase total beta band (13-30 Hz) power, it is unclear what the physiological basis for this effect is. Based on a detailed theory of cortical electrorhythmogenesis it is conjectured that such an effect is explicable in terms of the modulation of GABAergic neurotransmission within locally connected populations of excitatory and inhibitory cortical neurons. Motivated by this theory, fixed order autoregressive moving average (ARMA) models were fitted to spontaneous eyes-closed electroencephalograms recorded from subjects before and approximately 2 h after the oral administration of a single 1 mg dose of the BZ alprazolam. Subsequent pole-zero analysis revealed that BZs significantly transform the dominant system pole such that its frequency and damping increase. Comparisons of ARMA derived power spectra with fast Fourier transform derived spectra indicate an enhanced ability to identify benzodiazepine induced electroencephalographic changes. This experimental result is in accord with the theoretical predictions implying that alprazolam enhances inhibition acting on inhibitory neurons more than inhibition acting on excitatory neurons. Further such a result is consistent with reported cortical neuronal distributions of the various GABA(A) receptor pharmacological subtypes. Therefore physiologically specified fixed order ARMA modeling is expected to become an important tool for the systematic investigation and modeling of a wide range of cortically acting compounds.