In this paper, we investigate the abatement of spike-and-wave discharges in a thalamocortical model using a closed-loop brain stimulation method. We first explore the complex states and various transitions in the thalamocortical computational model of absence epilepsy by using bifurcation analysis. We demonstrate that the Hopf and double cycle bifurcations are the key dynamical mechanisms of the experimental observed bidirectional communications during absence seizures through top-down cortical excitation and thalamic feedforward inhibition. Then, we formulate the abatement of epileptic seizures to a closed-loop tracking control problem. Finally, we propose a neural network based sliding mode feedback control system to drive the dynamics of pathological cortical area to track the desired normal background activities. The control system is robust to uncertainties and disturbances, and its stability is guaranteed by Lyapunov stability theorem. Our results suggest that the seizure abatement can be modeled as a tracking control problem and solved by a robust closed-loop control method, which provides a promising brain stimulation strategy.
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