Taking Flight Award

Stochastic, Multi-Electrode Stimulation to Probe and Perturb Abnormal Synchronization in the Human Epileptic Network

Ankit Khambhati, Ph.D.
University of California, San Francisco

Neurostimulation is an emerging therapy for treating drug-resistant, focal-onset seizures without the need to surgically remove epileptic brain tissue. Chronically implantable devices use stimulation and personalized algorithms to deliver electrical pulses to a patient’s brain network and prevent seizures from occurring. Devices can deliver therapy precisely for several years, but their efficacy is modest – reducing approximately 60% of a patient’s seizures. How can we unlock the full potential of this transformative therapy and help patients achieve seizure freedom?

Dr. Khambhati and his research team aim to optimize strategies for faster and more effective stimulation-based control of seizures. They will use high-density direct brain recordings and stimulation technology to apply patterns of electrical pulses, precisely tuned in space and time, to discrete control points in the human epileptic brain. These studies will yield a detailed map between patterns of stimulation and epileptic network response. These data-driven models will help better calibrate devices for more effective, long-term control of a patient’s seizure-generating network.