Taking Flight Award

Predicting Epileptogenesis with Invasive and Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation Evoked High Frequency Oscillations in Humans

Rina Zelmann, PhD
Massachusetts General Hospital

Identification of individuals at risk of developing epilepsy remains a major challenge. Accurate prediction of who will develop epilepsy after a first seizure or brain injury could expediate treatment and prognosis might improve. High frequency oscillations (HFOs), a type of electrical activity in the brain, could potentially be used to identify brain regions responsible for seizure generation and might also be used to predict development of epilepsy. However, HFOs are hard to detection the scalp and are not yet part of routine clinical diagnosis.

Dr. Zelmann proposes to generate HFOs by repeated mild stimulation of the brain through the scalp, which may enhance the ability to detect HFOs. Ultimately, this could pave the way toward a quick and relatively easy test to generate scalp HFOs and help predict epilepsy in outpatient clinics.