Epilepsy is a brain disorder in which a person suffers seizures, also referred to as fits. It is estimated that about three million Americans and 50 million worldwide have epilepsy. Understanding the brain chemistry and function during seizures will help scientists develop better treatments for epilepsy.
But locating where the seizures begin in the brain is itself the biggest challenge. Most of the research in the past focused on studying the brain only during seizures, technically known as the "ictal" phase of a seizure, and invasive methods such as surgery have been used to collect data about the brain function, according to University of Minnesota engineering researchers.
In a ground-breaking study, researchers from the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic have for the first time used a new non-invasive method to study patients after a seizure instead of during a seizure.
The researchers studied the brains of 28 patients immediately after seizures using a specialized type of non-invasive EEG with 76 electrodes attached to the scalp for gathering data, and specialized imaging technology was used to gather data about the brain function.
According to the scientists who believe that the study is really a paradigm shift for research in epilepsy, the findings may lead to innovative means of locating the brain regions responsible for seizures in individual patients using non-invasive strategies.
The research was published online in Brain, a scientific journal of neurology.
by RTT Staff Writer
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