Advances in Brain Imaging for Epilepsy

Bernard

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Here's a snippet of an interesting news story:
Both PET and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are under investigation as tools to guide neurosurgeons to areas of the brain where epileptic seizures originate.

Theodore and colleagues at NINDS have found, in their pilot study, that a marker for serotonin systems was able to identify epilepsy-generating brain areas even in a patient with a normal MRI.

In related studies, the researchers have found that these deficits in serotonin correlate with the likelihood that patients with epilepsy will also suffer from depression.
Advances in Brain Imaging for Epilepsy
 

Bernard

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MRI offers new hope for severe epilepsy sufferers

CIHR researchers say MRIs can make surgical treatment an option for more patients

As Epilepsy Awareness Month approaches, researchers have found a way to use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to detect minute brain lesions in people with severe epilepsy, making surgical treatment potentially available to many more patients.

Epilepsy affects about 1% of the general population. In many patients with epilepsy, seizures cannot be controlled with medication but surgery can help if a lesion is identified in the brain.

The study, supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and led by Dr. Andrea Bernasconi at McGill University, used new automated techniques for improving the detection of brain lesions that had been overlooked by conventional radiological inspection.

"The advanced methods we propose could reduce the complexity and cost of pre-surgical evaluation, and improve our understanding of the cause of epilepsy," said Dr. Bernasconi, whose findings were published in the January issue of Epilepsia.

"Health research holds the key to improved health and quality of life for Canadians and people throughout the world and Dr. Bernasconi's research, which will positively affect people suffering from various brain disorders, is a testament to this," said Dr. Remi Quirion, Scientific Director of CIHR's Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction (INMHA) who is also available to comment on the study and its further implications.


MRI offers new hope for severe epilepsy sufferers
 

Birdbomb

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Interesting.

Would you post this to my forum under other treatments?
 

RobinN

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CT and MRI show the brain’s structure, or how it looks. Other neuroimaging methods show its function, or how it works. They are generally used to evaluate patients before epilepsy surgery or as research tools. These methods include:

* Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), which shows a map of blood flow through different parts of the brain.
* Positron emission tomography (PET), which shows how much sugar (glucose) or oxygen is metabolized (used up) by various areas of the brain.
* Magnetoencephalography (MEG), which measures tiny magnetic fields to study the brain's electrical patterns with less interference from the skull and other tissues than on an EEG.
* Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), which examines signals generated by elements such as phosphorus. MRS uses technology similar to that of MRI, which studies hydrogen atoms. MRS data can be used, for example, to learn about metabolism in the brain.
* Ultrasound, which can look at fluid or blood in the brain of a newborn baby
http://www.epilepsy.com/epilepsy/looking_brain


Has anyone ever had a PET scan done? Was it useful?
I am wondering why they don't list the MRA.
 

KAM

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I had the PET scan for cancer. My neuro asked for a specific scan of the brain while I was was having the PET scan. She said the PET scan is much better than the MRI but it is very costly (think it's around $10k per scan) and insurance companies are less likely to approve the PET over the MRI. On the PET scan they inject you with something that is on the radioactive side and if there is any cancer it glows. I'll be able to have another one in a few months.
 

RobinN

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Thanks Kam. I was just thinking since I think there is a blood sugar component to Rebecca's seizures, that the PET might be useful. According to the info above. That seems rather high for an image though.
 

Nancy

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Robin - I had PET before both VEEG stays at the hospital. It's a "common" test for my hospital's epilepsy testing ;-)
Our HMO insurance paid for it 100% - no questions asked. Hurrah!!!
 

RobinN

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were you told why the PET was given before the VEEG?
 

Nancy

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No, I wasn't ... and I didn't ask. I assumed it was just a usual test, part of the VEEG.
And perhaps that "common" part of MY testing was because of that tumor?
 

RobinN

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Yes, I would guess that too. Rebecca had a VEEG and they did not do this test. They also did not try to do the VEEG during an active time of seizures either, or try to induce one. So I don't think they were expecting to find anything.
However, I am going to discuss this with the doctor at USC, since it states that it can see how sugar and oxygen are metabolized.
 

Bernard

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A member sent me the following MRI PET w/o contrast w/tracer from June 2007 (to be posted in this thread):

 

Birdbomb

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:ponder: So what are we looking at here Mr. B? Care to explain please?
 

Nancy

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And I don't understand what is meant by "MRI PET" ....... for me they are very separate machines and images. But you know I misunderstand a lot .... sorry
 

RobinN

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Yes I thought so too Nancy. I should figure out how to get an image from Rebecca's MRI disk.
 

Bernard

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I dunno. I just passed on what was given to me (and that's how it was described).
 

Nancy

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Well ---- when I arrived at the hospital for the VEEG both times, of course, I checked in and then was confined to a wheel chair for safety's sake. I was STARVING because I could not eat or drink before the PET, but first was the rather endless MRI - with and without the dyes. The wheelchair was waiting for me when the MRI was finished and we went to a far different room (floor? I can't remember) for the PET. After that I was wheeled to my room for the VEEG. Same things for each VEEG. And at the finish of each VEEG I had yet more MRIs.
I've seen small parts of the MRIs but never a bit of the PET.
 

RobinN

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You know you can get copies? Mine were free of charge. I keep them with me.
Rebecca, had an MRI without dye, and an MRA same machine, same day, without dye.
Sure is confusing me.
 

KAM

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Found this link: http://www.scandirectory.com/content/pet-scan.asp

They have the test listed @ $2k to $5k, that sure wasn't close to what my insurance bill said!

"PET scan images can provide important information about many disorders that affect the heart, lung, brain, bones, liver etc.. PET images are different than those from more conventional radiological studies such as CT scan, Ultrasound, or MRI. PET scans are based on the metabolic activity and function of the organs. The images contain information on the function of a tissue rather than a static image like any x ray.

What can PET scan do?

PET can help doctors locate the presence of cancer/infection anywhere in the body. Because cancers are multiplying and require energy for growth, the PET scan is designed to detect any mass that is growing fast. The PET scan involves the use of radioactive glucose which is injected into the body. The glucose is taken up by the cancer cells and this activity can be monitored by the PET scan. PET scan has the ability to identify tumors in their very early phase. The PET scan can also detect the spread of cancer in other parts of the body.

The PET scan has no side effects. The amount of radiation exposure is minimal and the radioactive glucose is rapidly excreted from the body. There is no risk of exposure of radiation to the family.

PET scan is generally not the first diagnostic or screening test. A PET scan is done when the results of a CT scan or an MRI are not conclusive. PET scans are more sensitive for identification of cancers and infections."
 

Nancy

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Hi Kam ~ I was JUST starting to write to tell you about tumor stuff .... you have much better information. I'm very glad you beat me :)

The hospital I was in was looking at my brain for a tumor and they will keep inspecting me for the rest of my life .... Thank God.

I hope and pray yours is all clear and as easily paid for as mine.
 
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