Virtual Brain Simulates Epileptic Seizures to Aid Surgery OutcomesVirtual Brain Simulates Epileptic Seizures to Aid Surgery Outcomes
The digital brain helps researchers identify neural networks that cause seizures and simulate surgical treatments
February 24, 2023
A team of researchers has developed a virtual brain that simulates epileptic seizures to identify areas for surgery to increase the success of these operations.
The design is intended to help patients with drug-resistant epilepsy, who often need surgery to remove parts of the brain that cause seizures – a surgery with a continually low success rate.
The team from the Institut de Neurosciences des Systèmes in Marseilles created what they call a virtual epileptic patient (VEP) that uses MR imaging and electrical brain activity recordings to create a map of a patient’s “epileptogenic zone networks” (EZNs).
“[Our] workflow uses personalized brain models and machine learning methods to estimate EZNs and to aid surgical strategies,” the team said. “The structural scaffold of the patient-specific whole-brain network model is constructed from anatomical T1 and diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging. Each network node is equipped with a mathematical dynamical model to simulate seizure activity.”
The digital brain can be adapted to a patient’s specific MRI readings, allowing researchers to identify and predict possible seizure sites and predict the outcomes of different surgeries.
The design is now part of a clinical trial involving 356 patients from 11 epilepsy centers in France.
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