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Mapping the source of Epileptic seizures

Mapping the source of Epileptic seizures

On the recommendation of two Neurologists in the Pediatric Epilepsy Clinic at McMaster Children’s Hospital, Dr. Kevin Jones and Dr. Rajesh RamachandranNair, the Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation (provided funding for a special software program which allows them to provide better care for young patients with epilepsy.

The Imaging software, called Curry, can display abnormal brainwave activity as a map on a patient’s MRI scan, allowing the doctor to pinpoint where seizures are happening. This is particularly important with brain surgery, which requires extreme accuracy. During these assessments, doctors Jones and RamachandranNair would inspect the EEG brain waves to find the region where seizures are located to see if the patient qualified for surgery. “It was difficult to pinpoint the exact location where the seizures were coming from,” says Dr. Jones. “We don’t want to remove more brain than we need to.”

Dr. Kevin Jones and Dr. Rajesh RamachandranNair are neurologists in the Pediatric Epilepsy Clinic at McMaster Children’s Hospital. The doctors advocated for special software to improve accuracy of seizure location in a patient’s brain as part of the patient’s pre-surgical care.

It took roughly a year to implement, from pitching the need, to securing donations, to procuring and installing the software. In January, the software became available for the clinic to use.

The software can display abnormal brainwave activity as a map on a patient’s MRI scan allowing the doctor to pinpoint where seizures are happening. This is particularly important with brain surgery, which requires extreme accuracy.

“We can show the images to families to better explain, and can present the findings to our team of doctors, nurse practitioners, social workers and EEG technologists to discuss each child’s case and determine who is a potential candidate for epilepsy surgery,” says Dr. Jones.

Then, the team meets with the patient and their family to share results and recommendations. The E-E-G source Imaging software shows a 3-D image of the patients brain and a colour code of where the seizures are located. Curry is now the standard of care for our program. “Not only can we now look at where the spikes come from, but also explore the extent of the seizure network,” Dr. Jones explains. “There is interest in this worldwide.”

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