One in three patients with epilepsy does not experience relief through the use of drugs and, therefore, becomes a candidate for surgery. Now, a new breakthrough authored by researchers at Yale University and the Cleveland Clinic will allow surgeons to more accurately target areas of the brain that cause debilitating symptoms in a subset of these patients.

A widely used technology in this field, called magnetoencephalography or MEG, measures small amounts of magnetic-electric activity on the surface of the epileptic areas of the brain, and scientists have developed a new way of using it.

To this end, a retrospective medical record review and prospective analysis of a novel ictal rhythm analysis method was conducted at a tertiary epilepsy center with a wide base of referrals for epilepsy surgery evaluation and included consecutive cases of patients who experienced epileptic seizures during routine MEG studies from March 2008 to February 2012. A total of 377 studies screened. Data were analyzed from November 2011 to October 2015.

The recording of seizures during routine MEG in some surgical candidates could help to accurately identify the affected areas of the brain and, in certain cases, it was even possible to cancel the need to perform evaluations by invasive intracranial electroencephalograms (EEG) before surgery, the experts said.

Dr. Rafeed Alkawadri, assistant professor of neurology at Yale and director of the Human Brain Mapping Program of the institution, is the lead author of the study along with Dr. Andreas Alexopoulos, a researcher at the Cleveland Clinic, and his findings support the use of of the extended-source localization for seizures of patients with epilepsy recorded during MEG.

The work was recently published in JAMA Neurology.

 

Source: Yale News