New Brain Imaging Technique Identifies Previously Undetected Epileptic Seizure Sites
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania recently developed a non-invasive brain imaging technique for a class of patients whose epilepsy symptoms do not respond to drug treatment and who would otherwise be poor candidates for seizure-relieving surgeries. Approximately one third of those with drug-resistant epilepsy do not have lesions that conventional brain imaging can detect. However, researchers reported a new, specialized imaging technique that can trace the location of seizures that are not detected with conventional MRI or PET. The imaging technique, known as glutamate chemical exchange saturation transfer (GluCEST), images distinct patterns and changes in glutamate levels in brain structures that could be indicative of neurological disorders, explained the lead researcher of the study. “The research team is pursuing the tracking of glutamate because it is a key amino acid involved in transmitting signals between neurons, making it a potential marker for identifying the region of the brain where abnormal firing of neurons could cause epileptic seizures.” The researchers are optimistic that the GluCEST imaging technique offers patients the possibility for expanded epilepsy treatments, which could include surgery or laser ablation therapy. To read more about this study, click here.
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