KOCHI: The Amrita Advanced Centre for Epilepsy here on Thursday said that after four years of work, it has developed and implemented a new computational tools which can accurately identify the epileptic focus.
Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders affecting about six million people in the country but in 70 per cent of these patients, seizures can be controlled with medical treatment.
However, 30 per cent of patients, have drug-resistant epilepsy which is a severe form of epilepsy that does not respond to medical treatment and surgery is advised.
But for that, the challenge is Athe accurate identification of this "epileptic focus".
Dr. Siby Gopinath, Clinical Professor, Amrita Advanced Centre for Epilepsy, Amrita Hospital said that in many patients with drug-resistant epilepsy, even high-resolution MRI scans fail to identify the precise brain regions from where the seizure originates.
"This makes it difficult for these patients to undergo epilepsy surgery. With this novel technology, more patients with epilepsy who previously did not have the option for surgical treatment can now undergo surgery and avail freedom from seizures. Accurate identification of the epileptic focus in the brain will help surgeons to precisely remove the abnormal brain tissues and minimise the risks and side effects of epilepsy surgery," he said.
These computational tools use brain images from PET and MRI Scans and EEG recordings of the brain. The EEG (electroencephalogram) is the recording of brain waves by placing electrodes on the scalp or surgically placing them inside the brain (stereo EEG).
By integrating data from brain images and EEG, computational tools rank the brain regions from the most abnormal to the least to accurately identify the epileptic focus for planning the surgery.
Accurate identification of the epileptic focus not only helps to gain better results in epilepsy surgery but also in the implementation of new treatment modalities such as deep brain stimulation or laser ablations performed in difficult to treat epilepsy cases.