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New research launched into seizure activity

20 May, 2002

Funding has been announced to investigate investigating new methods of scanning the brain to narrow down the source of epileptic activity.

Professor John Duncan, Head of the Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy of the Institute of Neurology, University College London, has been awarded almost £180,000 to lead a three-year research study into furthering understanding of the effects of epilepsy. It will look at blood flow and the mobility of water in the brain, and will hopefully lead to better targeted medical and surgical treatment. This follows on from a previous three-year study in which researchers developed current conventional MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans to act as 'windows on the brain' in between seizures.

Professor Duncan said:

"The team will now be evaluating MRI techniques - mainly directly after seizures - to identify changes that occur in the brain... In addition to telling us about the effects that seizures have on the brain, we hope that the research will help identify the source of epileptic activity and whether it damages the brain. Importantly, it may also lead to corrective surgical treatment."

Medical research charity Action Research has announced the project to coincide with National Epilepsy Week. In this latest study, which has been sponsored by the Garfield Weston Foundation, the research team will be investigating new methods of scanning the brain to narrow down the source of epileptic activity.