Epilepsy affects approximately 50 million people worldwide. Up to 30 per cent of patients with focal epilepsy have persistent, disabling seizures that are resistant to conventional treatment. Uncontrolled epilepsy is harmful to the brain, has devastating socio-economic consequences, and is associated with increased risk of injury and sudden death. Surgery is the most effective treatment for drug-resistant focal childhood epilepsy.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has revolutionized the evaluation and management of drug-resistant epilepsy by allowing the reliable detection of the structural lesion associated with certain focal epilepsies, thus leading to increased rates of successful resective surgery. Multiple studies have shown that the most important predictor for favorable post-surgical outcome is the complete resection of the abnormality detected on pre-operative MRI. However, despite technical improvements in MR hardware and sequences, in up to 50 percent of patients with drug-resistant focal epilepsy have a best-practice MRI that is unremarkable and thus unable to show the potential surgical target.
Our research focuses on the use of advanced MRI techniques to improve the understanding and treatment epilepsy due to focal lesions.