Around 60 million people in the world have epilepsy, and more are being diagnosed each day. Epilepsy can affect people of any age, and many forms of epilepsy could present themselves. Unfortunately, there are still more questions around epilepsy than there are answers. There is no cure, and there is no solution that can work as a treatment for everyone. In some cases, anti-seizure medications are used, but around 33% of people do not improve with medication. They might need to have surgery or another treatment.
New Research Holds Promise
Fortunately, some researchers are looking into different types of drugs and treatments that can help those who have epilepsy. Recently, scientists have discovered the way that neurons are connected in areas of the brain. This information could help to be a better means of indicating disease progression and treatment outcomes for people who have brain disorders like epilepsy.
The study was published in Human Brain Mapping. Dr. Marcus Kaiser from the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham led the researchers in this study. They looked at patients with epilepsy who were undergoing surgery, and they found that “changes that occur in the local network within brain regions can be a better predictor of disease progression.” These changes can also be a better indicator of whether the surgery will be a success or not.
The researchers discovered that looking at the connectivity in regions of the brain proved to be better than the current means that were used. Currently, the fiber tract connectivity between brain regions is used. However, by “dividing the surface of the brain into 50,000 network nodes of comparable size, each brain region could be studied as a local network of 100 to 500 nodes.” By looking at those smaller, local networks, it was possible to see changes when compared to a control group that did not have epilepsy.