New tool to assess epilepsy cases that need surgery

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The team has applied the functional magnetic resonance imaging at rest, which me

The team has applied the functional magnetic resonance imaging at rest, which measures the neuronal activity.

The Cognition and Brain Plasticity Group of the UB, IDIBELL, and the Bellvitge University Hospital have found an indicator that could help predict the evolution of patients with drug-resistant epilepsy who need surgery.

According to an article published in the journal BMC Neurology , everything indicates that a higher number of neuronal connections in a certain region of the brain is an indicator of a better prognosis and of being less likely to continue suffering epileptic fits after surgery. The study is led by Estela Cāmara, lecturer at the Faculty of Psychology and IDIBELL, and Jacint Sala, from the Epilepsy Unit of the Bellvitge University Hospital and IDIBELL.

The most known symptom of this pathology are epileptic seizures -more or less recurrent- which can be accompanied by convulsions. The main way to treat epilepsy is through medication, which normally makes it possible to control the seizures and live a normal life. However, this measure is not always effective and neurosurgery is required, and it resects or disconnects the problem area from the rest of the brain.

The team has applied the functional magnetic resonance imaging at rest, which measures the neuronal activity, to identify those patients that could benefit the most from neurosurgery and therefore provide a more reliable prognosis before the operation. The results reveal that those patients who present a higher neuronal connectivity in the most affected brain area do show a better prognosis after the resection.

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