January 10, 2023

UCC Study Takes ‘Significant Step’ Towards Early Warning System to Predict Epilepsy Seizures

Article published by Irish Examiner

Research which could help predict epilepsy seizures is a “significant step” towards developing a warning system for patients.

The study, from researchers at University College Cork and Yale University, uses brain activity patterns to predict seizures. It has found a pattern of brain activity which occurs before a seizure happens.

Study lead and lecturer at the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience at UCC Dr Cian McCafferty said the team wanted to find out why people lose consciousness when they have epileptic seizures.

“Absence seizures, also called petit mal, are seizures defined by a loss of consciousness so they are the optimal way to research this,” he said.

“Our study found that some neurons might be more important than others in making a seizure happen. We also found that gradual changes in electrical activity in the brain start up to a minute before a seizure.”