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Imaging large scale neuronal networks in epilepsy

English title Imaging large scale neuronal networks in epilepsy
Applicant Seeck Margitta
Number 124089
Funding scheme SPUM
Research institution Clinique de Neurologie Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève
Institution of higher education University of Geneva - GE
Main discipline Neurology, Psychiatry
Start/End 01.05.2009 - 30.04.2012
Approved amount 1'608'515.00
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Keywords (10)

epilepsy; MRI; EEG; high resolution; DTI; fMRI; prognosis; idiopathic; focal; epilepsy surgery

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
Epilepsy is a frequent neurological disease which affects up to 1% of the population, in particular younger people including babies and children. With the current project, we like to study how different neuronal assemblies " talk " to each other, by analyzing the electrical activity of the human brain and by visualizing the pathways and regions, recruited by the fast neuronal activity. Three different techniques will be applied for this reason. Patients with epilepsy, who present aberrant electrical activity from time to time, and healthy subjects will be studied with multichannel electroencephalogram (EEG; up to 256 channels) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). EEG measures brain activity in the millisecond range, whereas DTI, a relatively new imaging technique, provides non-invasively data of nerve fiber bundles, i.e. their localization and thickness, in an individual human brain. Functional MRI, the third applied technique, shows local blood flow changes which reflect also neuronal activity non-invasively, albeit with less temporal precision but more spatial precision. In order to verify and improve our EEG techniques, we will also study epileptic mice, born with a brain malformation (similarly found in many human patients), during rest and epileptic seizures. All data will be carefully analyzed with modern mathematical algorithms to better understand which region is at which moment activated, through purely non-invasive tools. The overall goal of the project is the development and application of combined imaging techniques to human subjects and to improve our understanding of the brain "in action". While they are applied to patients with epilepsy, the results of our studies will be also of relevance for other chronic brain diseases, like autism or dementia, i.e. allowing the improvement of the diagnosis and/or monitoring of treatment effects.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
136249 Resting states of the brain and state dependent information processing in health and disease 01.01.2012 Sinergia
180365 Predict and Monitor Epilepsy After a First Seizure: The Swiss-First Study 01.02.2019 Sinergia
144467 Statistical methods for brain connectivity analysis 01.10.2012 Project funding (Div. I-III)
141165 Identifying new markers of interictal epileptic activity in humans 01.10.2012 Project funding (Div. I-III)
144529 Fast Global Tractography for Sensitive MR Connectomics 01.10.2012 Project funding (Div. I-III)
140332 Imaging large scale neuronal networks in epilepsy 01.05.2012 SPUM
135574 Cerebral malformations in the HeCo mouse and human cases linked to altered neural progenitors proliferation and differentiation and delayed migration of post-mitotic neurons through a common microtubule complex dysfunction. 01.06.2011 Project funding (Div. I-III)