“Focal cortical dysplasia is one pathology at the base of a large number of epilepsies that are focal and are not responsive to medications.”

Imad Najm, MD, director of the Epilepsy Center and vice chair of the Neurological Institute for Strategy and Development at Cleveland Clinic, outlined some of the challenges that epilepsy specialists face when identifying and treating focal cortical dysplasia (FCD). While FCD a single pathology, it is the base of many different types of epilepsy that do not respond to medication. A better understanding of FCD, Najm believes, may in turn help identify new diagnostic tools and treatments.

Actually seeing the lesions on MRI has become one of the most challenging parts of treating FCD. However, a more clear disease classification may help physicians identify these lesions and ultimately lead to the identification of biomarkers that can be used on other advanced imaging modalities, including PET, SPECT, and advanced MRI.

In this interview with NeurologyLive, Najm outlined some of the strategies being used to overcome roadblocks that epilepsy specialists face when diagnosing FCD.