• Art Jahnke

    Senior Contributing Editor

    Art Janke

    Art Jahnke began his career at the Real Paper, a Boston area alternative weekly. He has worked as a writer and editor at Boston Magazine, web editorial director at CXO Media, and executive editor in Marketing & Communications at Boston University, where his work was honored with many awards. Profile

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There are 2 comments on Data Science Is Helping to Explain Epileptic Seizures

  1. Is this entire article in reference to focal seizures? Or complex seizures?

    My wife has undergone many extended EEG tests in the hospital and has been diagnosed with JME. The neurologists wanted to see if they could pinpoint the focus where the seizure begins, so they could consider an implant that would essentially work as a pacemaker to send a pulse into that area of the brain when the electrical activity began to go off of the normal patterns. They found that her seizures were complex, involving the whole brain instead of having any activity that started in just one spot.

    So my question is if the study above was only useful for those with focal seizures? Or is it an advance in science that makes the complex seizures something that can be pinpointed and worked on to find a solution (either an implant or a resection).

    Also, would this kind of study help to identify in any way the traits and similarities of seizure activity that can be traced to a genetic link in epilepsy? I’m interested as 2 of my 3 daughters have epilepsy as well, and all have different presentation of their seizures. Current neurology hasn’t been very good at pinpointing or helping us in achieving the best treatments/medicines/surgeries to help any of my family.

    Hopefully the author will see these and comment. Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Jedediah, thanks for your comment. Here is a response from the researchers, Mark Kramer and Eric Kolaczyk:

      We are not clinicians, so please be advised this is not medical advice. Our study considered only seizures that began focally, and then spread to include large areas of the brain. So, at this point, our work has only been applied to seizures with a focal onset. Applying the method to a generalized seizure (which appears everywhere at once), or a seizure with multiple onset foci, would be an interesting and important next step. Doing so might help reveal the network underling these types of seizures, and potentially suggest new treatment strategies targeting specific points in the network. Regarding how the method might link to genetics, we haven’t done anything with that in the paper itself, but a natural next step would be to extract potential phenotypes from our analyses (e.g., based on characteristics of the network structures we detect) and then look for genetic factors associated with those.

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