Abstract, originally published on ScienceDaily.com
Scientists have discovered that the way in which neurons are connected within regions of the brain can be a better indicator of disease progression and treatment outcomes for people with brain disorders such as epilepsy.
Many brain diseases lead to cell death and the removal of connections within the brain. In a new study, published in Human Brain Mapping, a group of scientists, led by Dr Marcus Kaiser from the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham, looked at epilepsy patients undergoing surgery.
They found that changes in the local network within brain regions can be a better predictor of disease progression, and also whether surgery will be successful or not.
The team found that looking at connectivity within regions of the brain showed superior results to the current approach of only observing fiber tract connectivity between brain regions. Dividing the surface of the brain into 50,000 network nodes of comparable size, each brain region could be studied as a local network with 100-500 nodes. These local networks showed distinct changes compared to a control group not suffering from epileptic seizures.