Computer model shows promise in differentiating epileptic or non-epileptic seizures

Posted Apr 29 2014 in Other treatments

US scientists have developed a new computer model that could make it easier to differentiate between and diagnose epileptic and non-epileptic seizures.

The Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior team inspected 228 outpatient clinical notes from patients with medication-resistant seizures, who were later diagnosed as having epilepsy or non-epileptic seizure disorders.

They then used a combination of the known risk factors for epilepsy and non-epileptic seizures to design a diagnostic algorithm with an accuracy of 65 per cent – a comparable rate to 72-hour in-patient closed circuit video-electroencephalography, the current gold standard diagnostic assessment.

Such a tool could help to prevent the routine misdiagnosis of the different seizure types, an issue that can often lead to inappropriate treatment plans being selected.

Wesley Kerr, a graduate student from the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, said: “This work may help diagnose, and thereby more effectively treat, patients that are in need.”

A recent study from the Universidade de Sao Paulo showed that patients and caregivers also find it hard to tell the difference between seizures that are related to epilepsy and those that are not, underlining the importance of new research in this field.

Posted by Anne Brown

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