AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 1, 2017

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UAB Leads Effort to Set Guidelines for fMRI Use in Epilepsy Surgery

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The first set of guidelines for the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, in pre-surgical evaluation of patients with epilepsy have been published. The seven-year effort was conducted by a committee commissioned by AAN and led by Jerzy Szaflarski, M.D., Ph.D., professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and director of the UAB Epilepsy Center. “These guidelines will be extremely important in helping to drive clinical decisions on surgical treatment of epilepsy,” Szaflarski said. “The guidelines will allow physicians to develop strong practice parameters and help patients and physicians make informed decisions on patient care.” The committee included experts in epilepsy and/or neuroimaging from ten universities and the National Institutes of Health. They performed a literature review of potentially relevant research studies going back to 1991, first reviewing more than 2,600 research abstracts to ultimately select 172 studies for full examination. Of those, 37 were deemed to be relevant and were used in the final analysis.

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