Landmark Brain Surgery Research at Cook Children’s Published in Annals of Neurology
Investigative team develops new techniques to precisely locate source of seizures in children
The decision to choose brain surgery is never easy for a parent.
But for some patients with severe seizures who have not responded to medications or who have had significant side effects with medications, epilepsy surgery might be the best option. The goal of epilepsy surgery is to identify and resect the area of the brain that is responsible for the generation of seizures. However, identifying this brain area can be challenging.
Thanks to new techniques developed by Christos Papadelis, Ph.D., director of Research at the Jane and John Justin Neurosciences Center at Cook Children’s, the ability to better locate the source of epilepsy has improved. Working with researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, Dr. Papadelis developed a novel biomarker, or medical sign, that can identify the area in the brain causing seizures with non-invasive strategies and high precision. Using premiere imaging technology such as magnetoencephalography (or MEG) and high-density electroencephalography (or EEG), the team measured the magnetic and electric activity generated by the human brain to locate the biomarker and source of seizures. This work was recently published in the Annals of Neurology, a widely-respected journal produced by the American Neurology Association.
Improvement in precision of locating the source of seizures decreases the risk that a child will suffer from disability due to surgery. It also increases the odds that children will recover function and improve their quality of life without negative consequences. While still not easy, this research will allow parents to feel even more confident about their decision to move forward with such a complex procedure as epilepsy surgery.
About Cook Children's Neurosciences Research Team
The Cook Children's Neurosciences Research team is made up of some of the brightest minds in the world. Led by Dr. Christos Papedelis, our team is intent on leading the way in neurological breakthroughs to improve the lives of every child cared for at Cook Children's, and beyond. Learn more here.