Epilepsy Diagnosis | Action Medical Research | Children's Charity | Children's Charity

Epilepsy diagnosis

This research was completed on 15 February 2005

Project LeaderDr G Alarcon, Professor K R Mills, Mr R P Selway and Dr A Valentin.
LocationDepartment of Clinical Neurophysiology and Neurosurgery, King's College Hospital and the Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Guy's, King's and St Thomas' School of Medicine, London.
Grant awarded10 November 2003
Start date16 February 2004
End date15 February 2005
Grant amount£40,493.00
Grant codeAP0998

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Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders, affecting around 1 in 200 of the population. However, identifying epilepsy can be difficult because seizures tend to be relatively infrequent events and an electroencephalogram (EEG) does not always show abnormalities. The aim of this project is to develop a new method that could improve the diagnosis of epilepsy, leading to earlier treatment and to a better quality of life for epileptic patients. Because epilepsy is thought to be due to excessive responsiveness of the brain, these researchers have recently developed a technique to identify the areas of the brain that generate seizures by studying responses to electrical stimulation. However this method can only be applied to patients being assessed for surgery with electrodes inside their heads. In this project, they plan to develop a non-invasive method based on similar principles, so that it can be applied to all epileptic patients. The team will study the responses of the brain to Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, which can stimulate the brain across the scalp and help identify the presence of regions likely to generate seizures. If successful, this method will improve the sensitivity of scalp EEG in patients with epilepsy, leading to more certain and earlier diagnosis and treatment.

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