The life quality of patients with refractory epilepsy is extremely affected by abrupt and unpredictable seizures. A reliable method for predicting seizures is important in the management of refractory epilepsy. A critical factor in seizure prediction involves the classification of the preictal and interictal stages. This study aimed to develop an efficient, automatic, quantitative, and individualized approach for preictal/interictal stage identification. Five epileptic children, who had experienced at least 2 episodes of seizures during a 24-hour video EEG recording, were included. Artifact-free preictal and interictal EEG epochs were acquired, respectively, and characterized with 216 global feature descriptors. The best subset of 5 discriminative descriptors was identified. The best subsets showed differences among the patients. Statistical analysis revealed most of the 5 descriptors in each subset were significantly different between the preictal and interictal stages for each patient. The proposed approach yielded weighted averages of 97.50% correctness, 96.92% sensitivity, 97.78% specificity, and 95.45% precision on classifying test epochs. Although the case number was limited, this study successfully integrated a new EEG analytical method to classify preictal and interictal EEG segments and might be used further in predicting the occurrence of seizures.
classification; epilepsy; feature selection; scalp EEG; support vector classifier