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Chemical reaction in brain up to 14 minutes before seizure' - study

25 January, 2005

A chemical
reaction in the brain that occurs up to 14 minutes before the start of
a seizure has been identified by researchers, according to a report in The Age.

A study at the Brain Research Institute
in Melbourne used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) looking at the
brains of people having partial seizures. In these people, a
biochemical reaction was identified in the brain up to 14 minutes
before the seizure.

Institute
director Professor Graeme Jackson said the biochemical changes could be
"normal" parts of the brain trying to prevent the seizure and that the
changes appeared to happen all over the brain, not just at the trigger
point of the seizures.

Professor
Jackson added that the external signs were more difficult to detect,
but they could be responsible for the altered perception or dizziness
that some patients reported before a seizure:

'They
often say it's a strange, weird feeling, but it's very distinctive.
This warning occurred earlier than auras - or odd sensations - that
were commonly felt before a person experienced an epileptic seizure.

"We think there must be some fundamental change in a network within the brain a long time before a seizure.'