More than 3,800 volunteers around the world participated in the largest international survey on epilepsy using neuroimaging techniques, according to an April 5 press release from the São Paulo Research Foundation in Brazil. The study was published online in the February issue of Brain.
The researchers' primary objective was to investigate anatomical similarities and differences in the brains of people with different types of epilepsy and to seek markers that could help with prognosis and treatment.
The study was conducted ENIGMA (Enhancing NeuroImaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis), in which its researchers established 24 cross-sectional samples from 14 countries. They then sent data of 3D MRI of the brains of 2,149 people with epilepsy and 1,727 healthy control subjects to the University of Southern California's Imaging Genetics Center for meta-analysis.
"If we know there are more or less specific signatures of the different epileptic subtypes, instead of looking for alterations everywhere in the brain, we can focus on suspect regions, reducing cost, saving time and bolstering the statistical power of the analysis. Next, we'll be able to correlate these alterations with cognitive and behavioral dysfunction," said Fernando Cendes, MD, PhD, a neurology professor at State University of Campinas in Campinas, Brazil and coordinator of the Brazilian Research Institute for Neuroscience and Neurotechnology.