Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) measures the movement of water in the brain, detecting areas where the normal flow of water is disrupted.
A disrupted flow of water indicates where there could be an underlying abnormality. The DTI scan can be compared with scans of people without epilepsy, and can provide further information to assist the doctors in providing the appropriate treatment. This may include surgery.
An MRI scan can detect an abnormality in 80 per cent of people with epilepsy undergoing the test. The DTI can pick up the underlying abnormality in one in three of the remaining 20 per cent.
If the location of the abnormality indicates that surgery may be possible, pre-surgical evaluation will be considered.
This method of testing is new and there are only a few DTI scanners in the UK at the moment.
Anyone with epilepsy wishing to be considered for epilepsy surgery should discuss this in the first instance with their doctor.
Updated September 2010To be reviewed September 2012