The Root of Epilepsy Can Be Identified Without Waiting for Seizures

By: | March 25th, 2023

People are diagnosed with epilepsy when they have had two or more seizures. Seizures can occur anywhere in the brain, but pinpointing the exact areas of the brain causing seizures is not easy.

The only way to find where a seizure stems from is to catch it while it’s happening.

Epileptic patients are often kept in the hospital for several days with electrodes attached to their heads. When they finally have a seizure, the electroencephalographic (EEG) scans can pinpoint the precise location of the seizure’s origin in the brain. Identifying a patient’s type of seizure helps doctors to determine the best treatment options.

Detecting the root of epilepsy even when no seizure is taking place

Now, a team of researchers from the Institut de Neurosciences des Systèmes (France), the IRCCS E.Medea – La Nostra Famiglia (Italy), and the Department of General Psychology of Padua University (Italy) have found a less painful way to detect the root of epilepsy.

Researchers say that the brain continuously generates tiny electrical impulses in an orderly pattern, even at rest. Any abnormalities can be detected even in the “resting state”.

These findings could one day open up the possibility of a new preliminary diagnostic method for epilepsy where scalp EEG fails to detect seizures.

Epilepsy affects about 3.4 million people in the United States and an estimated 65 million people globally. Epilepsy is sometimes called a seizure disorder. A seizure is usually defined as sudden bursts of abnormal electrical activity in the brain.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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