Attempting to predict epileptic seizure

Dec 14, 2010

While the causes of epileptic seizures continue to confound brain researchers, scientists have been exploring how changes in the coordinated activity of brain networks, as monitored through electrodes, might help predict impending seizures. A report in the American Institute of Physics' journal Chaos offers new insight into this possibility.

Two properties are commonly used to measure fluctuations in the activity of a brain network; one, known as L, relates to the overall connectedness between the activities of (or nodes), and the other, C, represents the probability that any two nodes are both interacting with a third node. Tracking changes in these variables, neuroscientists suspect, might offer a way to spot seizures in advance.

Most studies of complex brain networks have used only short-duration recordings of , no more than a few minutes long. And, says physicist Marie-Therese Kuhnert -- a graduate student at the University of Bonn and first author of the CHAOS paper -- to really find seizure-predicting patterns, you need longer-term data.

Kuhnert and her colleagues, professors Christian Elger and Klaus Lehnertz, studied the brain recordings of 13 epilepsy patients undergoing pre-surgical evaluations. The data -- representing, in all cases, days of continuous recordings and seizure activity -- did indeed show fluctuations in L and C, but the two measures were "strongly influenced by the daily rhythms of the patient, sleep–wake cycles, and alterations of anticonvulsive medication," Kuhnert says. Upcoming seizures and even seizures themselves had little effect.

Surprisingly, Kuhnert and her colleagues found much more regularization of brain network activity at night. Previously, such regularization has been seen in healthy individuals, but never in epilepsy patients. "It remains to be investigated whether the increased regularization at night is causally related to , whether it requires some treatment, or whether it can be regarded as a seizure-preventing mechanism," she says.

Explore further: US scientists make embryonic stem cells from adult skin

More information: The article "Long-term variability of global statistical properties of epileptic brain networks" by Marie-Therese Kuhnert, Christian E. Elger, and Klaus Lehnertz appears in the journal Chaos. See: link.aip.org/link/chaoeh/v20/i4/p043126/s1

Provided by American Institute of Physics

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Epilepsy Patients Are Given New Hope With Brain Implant

Dec 09, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- A startup company, Neuropace in Mountain View Ca., has developed a device that offers new hope for epilepsy patients. The device is designed to neutralize the abnormal electrical activity ...

Recommended for you

Leeches help save woman's ear after pit bull mauling

Apr 18, 2014

(HealthDay)—A pit bull attack in July 2013 left a 19-year-old woman with her left ear ripped from her head, leaving an open wound. After preserving the ear, the surgical team started with a reconnection ...

New pain relief targets discovered

Apr 17, 2014

Scientists have identified new pain relief targets that could be used to provide relief from chemotherapy-induced pain. BBSRC-funded researchers at King's College London made the discovery when researching ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Treating depression in Parkinson's patients

A group of scientists from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has found interesting new information in a study on depression and neuropsychological function in Parkinson's ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...