Concordia University Logo Here is a novel method to detect epileptic seizures. Scientists from the Concordia University have now introduced a computer-based method to identify epileptic seizures as they occur. This new technique can supposedly aid in understanding the brain’s electrical activity.

An epileptic seizure may be triggered by disruptions taking place within the normal electrical activity of the brain. These disruptions allegedly produce a range of symptoms including convulsions and unconsciousness. In order to understand about the timing and nature of seizures, the electrical activity of patients’ brains is apparently recorded through electroencephalograms (EEGs).

Study co-author Rajeev Agarwal, a professor in Concordia’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering commented “EEG recordings may cover a period of several weeks. That’s a lot of data to review. Automating the process is difficult, because there’s no exact definition for a seizure, so there’s no template to look for. Every seizure is different with every patient.”

However, this process is time-consuming and also seizures can develop certain recognizable characteristics. Seizures possibly occur when neurons fire in a synchronous or rhythmic manner. With progression in seizures, the EEG signals can seemingly have very strong transitions. As seen on an EEG recording, the waves of electrical activity tend to be spike-like.

While conducting the study, experts devised an algorithm to check the sharpness of the electrical signals on the EEG recordings. The EEG recordings were measured by their angle or slope and a series of sharp signals can presumably pinpoint a seizure. The efficacy of this approach was tested on seven patients. The newly introduced method was reportedly able to lay hands on every seizure while scoring an extremely low rate of false positives. The results appeared far better than those obtained with existing methods.

The novel approach can be apparently employed for benefiting comatose patients in the ICU as well.