Article published by Mid-Tech Innovation News
A new study will use long term seizure tracking technology to monitor and potentially predict patterns in epileptic seizures using continuous data collection of brain activity in people with drug-resistant epilepsy.
The Real World Testing and Cost-effectiveness Analysis of Subcutaneous EEG (REAL-ASE) trial, which is being led by the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London and funded by the NIHR, hopes to establish if the use of a small implant that records brain activity can improve outcomes for treatment and care.
While seizures can occur in predictable patterns, it is difficult to accurately track how often seizures occur as it relies on the person affected manually documenting their attacks in a diary. As seizures can have an amnesic effect, and can happen while a person is asleep, accurately recording these events is often not possible.
Subcutaneous implanted EEG is a new technology. Conventional EEG technology either requires the person to be admitted to hospital or be tested at home, using EEG electrodes glued to their scalp, which can be undertaken for only a few days. NHS waiting lists for these tests can vary from months to years. Subcutaneous implanted EEG, the technology being trialed in this study, enables researchers to continuously record EEG in an unobtrusive way, for up to 15 months, while the person lives their life completely normally.
The trial will recruit 33 people with drug resistant epilepsy and implant a miniaturised electroencephalogram (EEG) device just under their scalp during a minimally invasive, twenty-minute procedure that is performed under local anaesthetic. Researchers will then monitor each person’s brainwaves over six months. By tracking the brainwaves, researchers can count the person’s seizures, which enables them to provide reliable information to clinicians, as an alternative to seizure diaries.