April 26, 2021

Imaging Approach to Stop Epilepsy Seizures

Summary, originally published on medicalxpress.com

An advanced imaging approach developed at the University of Virginia School of Medicine could let surgeons determine the best target in the brain to stop epilepsy seizures, new research suggests.

UVA’s approach could improve patient outcomes and open underused surgical options to patients who are now ineligible, the research team reports.

“This imaging approach is significant, as it creates 4D brain maps that offer additional sensitivity over standard-of-care imaging by revealing rates of glucose uptake rather than final absolute glucose uptake,” said imaging expert Bijoy Kundu of UVA’s Department of Radiology and Medical Imaging and UVA’s Department of Biomedical Engineering. “This imaging approach might be beneficial, as it may offer non-invasive localization of potential epileptic foci.”

UVA’s new approach uses an enhanced form of positron-emission tomography, or PET, to measure glucose use in the brain. This allows doctors to pinpoint the trouble spot in the brain that is triggering seizures. Once that spot is identified, it can be removed surgically, stopping the seizures.

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