Epilepsy: Artificial intelligence to detect the area of the brain in crisis
A new artificial intelligence developed by French researchers could help epileptic patients for whom medication does not work.
“In France, around 600,000 people have epilepsy, half of whom are under 20 years old”, recalls the Health Insurance, which specifies that the seizures “reflect a sudden and transient disruption of the electrical activity of the brain”. To treat it, most of the time antiepileptic drugs are used. “But for about a quarter of patients, these drugs are insufficiently ineffective and epileptic seizures persist. Surgical intervention may then be considered., she also states. To simplify this approach, researchers have developed an artificial intelligence, explains 20 Minutes .
For these so-called “drug-resistant” patients, who are going to be operated on, the process is very long, because the objective of the operation is to remove the piece of the brain that suffers the epileptic seizures, but you must first know which one it is… As detailed in the daily, according to information from Ludovic Gardy, engineer at the CNRS at the Brain and Cognition Research Center in Toulouse, this ablation of the epileptogenic zone, which concerns approximately 1000 patients each year, takes about a year.
The first step is to hospitalize the patient to carry out a long investigation. This investigation begins with the implantation of intracerebral electrodes (about ten) which will record neuronal activity, and produce many pages of electroencephalogram. Afterwards, for several months, an epileptologist will study this data in search of particular signals to understand which area is affected in the brain.
Detect signals from the epileptogenic zone in just a few days
These signals are “fast ripples”, very difficult to detect on the EEG curves, specifies 20 Minutes, these are particularly rapid pathophysiological oscillations. These could now be spotted much faster thanks to an AI developed by this researcher with Christophe Hunter, another researcher specializing in artificial intelligence at the National School of Civil Aviation.
In just a few days (versus several months of work for the doctor before), the AI in question was able to find these fast ripples in about thirty patients who were equipped with their intracerebral implants. It will be officially developed in the summer of 2023 as a CNRS-affiliated startup called Avrio MedTech, and should make it possible to treat these patients much faster than before.
Sources: 20 Minutes, Health Insurance