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of everyone affected by epilepsy

New technique may help doctors locate seizures

3 August, 2006

Researchers at the Weill Cornell Medical College's Department of Neurological Surgery believe a new technique may help doctors locate the root of epilepsy patients' seizures.

During
optical imaging doctors place a glass plate on the surface of the
brain, creating a uniform surface and lessening interference caused by
the patient's heartbeat and breathing. The team shine light of various
wavelengths on the glass during a seizure and record the brain's
activity. The recording highlights changes in blood volume and oxygen
levels, and enables the doctors to pinpoint where the seizure is
starting from.

The technique currently considered the best, EEG,
requires electrodes to be placed on the surface of the brain, which
measure a limited area and can provide an incomplete picture. As
optical imaging allows doctors to indentify exactly which part of the
brain to operate on during epilepsy surgery, it could lessen the risk of damaging a patient's memory or cognitive ability.

The technique is currently still in the experimental stages.