Epilepsy Award funded by Michael Rogers Stirling Estate
Advanced analysis of the brainwave recording to identify where in the brain the seizure starts when there is either no lesion or multiple potential culprit lesions visible on the patient’s MRI brain scan.
Dr Chris Plummer
St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, University of Melbourne
Co-Investigators: Professor Mark Cook and Dr Simon Harvey
Epilepsy is a leading cause of morbidity in Australia, particularly in the young and the elderly. There is a burgeoning gap between the increasingly technical methods of seizure rhythm analysis in epilepsy (termed EEG Source Modelling, or ESM) and the extent to which these promising methods have been tested in the routine clinical setting. This gap should be bridged because there is a pressing need for better, non-invasive ways of locating the source of the seizure in the brain of the sufferer.
Our pilot study will examine the clinical application of ESM when there is no clear guide from the patient’s MRI brain scan (i.e. when there is no visible lesion or when there is more than one possible culprit lesion giving rise to seizures).
The benefit of ESM is that it reflects source characteristics on the same millisecond scale as invasive, intracranial EEG. However, the latter is hazardous (morbidity, mortality risk) and it is not a genuine gold standard (only limited parts of the brain surface can be sampled).
Findings from this work will hopefully open the way for a larger scale study that aims to improve the accuracy of seizure localization in patients with epilepsy. This can lead to better medical and surgical treatments for our patients, particularly those with difficult to control epilepsy syndromes.