Mathematics to classify the seizures

Les mathématiques pour classifier les crises d’épilepsie

Two researchers from marseille, in collaboration with a neurologist from the american university of Michigan have developed the first scientific classification of epileptic seizures, through a mathematical model, they announced Tuesday in a press release.

“It’s been a hundred years since an attempt was made to classify this type of crises “, explained to AFP Christophe Bernard, director of research at the Inserm (national Institute of health and medical research) in Marseille, co-author of the publication, with Viktor Jirsa, director of the Institute of neuroscience of systems at the Inserm and the university of Aix-Marseille, and William Stacey, of the department of neurology of the university of Michigan.

Until then, the seizures were classified empirically as a function of the physical symptoms of patients. The research conducted by these three researchers, for six years, have resulted in “a mathematical model of universal” to understand the dynamics of these crises, a model based on the way that electroencephalograms (EEG) performed on patients change when a crisis is triggered or stops.

This method, or ” taxonomy of the dynamics of crises “, identified four ways in which starts a crisis, and four ways that it ends, sixteen types of epileptic seizures in total. This model was built after the analysis of thousands of seizures via EEG of 120 patients in seven different centres, on five continents, and notably in Melbourne (Australia), Kyoto (Japan) and Freiburg (Germany).

“The previous classification allowed to know the time and place where occurred a crisis, such as a photograph would indicate where and when a car passes on a road “, explains Christophe Bernard: “With the taxonomy, a clinician will be able to predict the evolution of the crisis, in different conditions ; as a taxonomy of the car would know the speed at which rolls the vehicle at the time of its passage, to make the difference between a sedan or a sports car “.

“With the assistance of the technology of brain-virtual, that we use to Marseille, our model will enable to improve the prediction of the operation each patient “, hope to Christophe Bernard: “We know for example that some seizures are arrêtables by deep brain stimulation (editor’s NOTE: via the installation of electrodes in the brain), such as for Parkinson’s patients “.

Unveiled Tuesday in the scientific journal eLife, this classification will now be submitted to the international League against epilepsy, to be formally adopted, explained Christophe Bernard to AFP, hoping for a validation ” in the not too distant future “.

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