Erin Conrad, MD: Identifying the Seizure Onset Zone

January 24, 2020

The epilepsy fellow at the hospital of the University of Pennsylvania detailed why locating the seizure onset zone plays a crucial role in successful epilepsy surgery.

“The automated spike detectors are getting better and better. As these get better, there might be more of a real role in the clinical setting for the quantitative spike analysis.”

Locating and removing the seizure onset zone may be the most crucial component to predicting the outcome of epilepsy surgery; however, that goal is only achieved in about 60% of cases. Studying interictal epileptiform discharges may help to better identify this, though studying these spikes comes with several challenges.

At the 73rd annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society (AES), December 6-10, 2019, in Baltimore, Maryland, Erin Conrad, MD, an epilepsy fellow at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, recalled that using spikes to try and identify the seizure onset zone requires time and patience, as you really need at least 1 day’s worth of data to accurately capture spike variability. She claimed that utilizing automated spike analysis may help this process.

Conrad noted that improvements are actively being made to automated spike detectors, potentially making them more of a useful screening tool in the clinical setting in the future.

In an interview with NeurologyLive, Conrad discussed the utility of different spike characteristics and ways to better detect them.

For more coverage of AES 2019, click here.