AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 29, Number 1, 2020


New Analysis of Brain Network Activity Offers Unique Insight Into Epileptic Seizures

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University of Bonn researchers are exploring “evolving epileptic brain networks” to gain a better understanding of brain activity in epilepsy patients and the roles played by different regions of the brain, moving towards better prediction and control of epileptic seizures

Epilepsy is a complex neurological disorder that afflicts approximately 50 million people worldwide. Although this disease has been known to exist for centuries, the exact mechanism of its cardinal symptom, the epileptic seizure, remains poorly understood. In fact, roughly 25 percent of epileptic seizures can’t be controlled by any of the therapies available today.  Recent advances have led to a conceptualization of epilepsy as a “network disease” exhibiting connections within the brain. This large-scale epileptic network comprises various areas of the brain involved in normal brain activity during both seizure-free intervals and those involved in so-called pathophysiological activities such as seizures. Little is known, however, about which specific areas of the brain contribute to a patient’s epileptic network or the roles these different areas play.

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