Research and recent advances in epilepsy surgery
Can computer models help us improve the planning of epilepsy surgery?
The occurrence of seizures can pose a large burden on the quality of life of people suffering from epilepsy. When anti-epileptic medication is not enough to suppress the seizures, the clinical team often considers a resective surgery: the goal now is to remove the brain areas that are generating or generalizing the seizures. But the outcome is not as good as we would like: currently about 1 in every 3 patients who undergo epilepsy surgery continue to have seizures afterwards. In order to improve this outcome, so that patients have more changes of being seizure free after the resection, at Amsterdam UMC we are developing a computer model, personalized for each individual patient, that will help us identify the best resection for each case.
Now that we are reaching the end of the first phase of research, we have made an effort to share our results with other scientists by participating in scientific conferences. In this manner we can gain feedback on our methods and projects, discuss new approaches, and share any interesting discoveries. It is a good opportunity to learn how other teams deal with similar scientific questions!
During the first half of 2022 we have participated in the BIOMAT conference in Granada (Spain), the Dutch Neuroscience Meeting in Tiel (The Netherlands), the 31st Computational Neuroscience Meeting in Melbourne (Australia) and the BIOMAG conference in Birmingham (UK). You can find here the final poster we presented at BIOMAG with the details of our latest research.
Our second paper is live now in the journal Scientific Reports. Here we define individual seizure models using a simple spreading model: the Susceptible-Infected model.
The Amsterdam Neuroscience Annual Meeting 2021 took place as a two-day hybrid conference (September 30 and October 1) at the Johan Cruijff ArenA. This yearly event brings together neuroscientists and clinicians of Amsterdam UMC, VU Amsterdam and University of Amsterdam. We presented our computer model for epilepsy surgery and won one of the poster presentation prizes. Congratulations to the whole team!
This is our first peer-reviewed publication defining and testing the spreading model for epilepsy surgery. Here we define the seizure propagation model, relate it to the network structure, and define a virtual resection optimization model to find alternative, smaller resections for each patient.