This research was completed on 15 February 2005
|Project Leader||Dr G Alarcon, Professor K R Mills, Mr R P Selway and Dr A Valentin.|
|Location||Department 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 awarded||10 November 2003|
|Start date||16 February 2004|
|End date||15 February 2005|
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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.