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Research


Goal

The primary goal is to design and implement novel methodology and advanced signal processing techniques to monitor, process and model the electrical and magnetic activity recorded from the brain for the purpose of timely warning and intervention to avert catastrophic state transitions like epileptic seizures, status epilepticus, strokes, migraines, sleep apneas and other medical emergencies. The secondary goal is to interface the developed products with existing devices in biomedical industry used for the monitoring and treatment of the respective disorders, diseases and emergencies.

Significance

Abrupt disruptions of the normal electrical activity of the brain result into devastating medical conditions that may require immediate treatment. About 1% of the world’s population develops epileptic seizures in a lifetime due to genetic or acquired insults to the brain. Epileptic seizures are manifestations of epilepsy, a serious brain dynamical disorder second only to strokes. Of the world's ~50 million people with epilepsy, fully 1/3 have seizures that are not controlled by anti-convulsant medication. The field of seizure prediction, in which engineering technologies are used to decode brain signals and search for precursors of impending epileptic seizures, holds great promise to elucidate the dynamical mechanisms underlying the disorder, as well as to enable implantable devices to intervene in time to treat epilepsy. There is currently an explosion of interest in this field in academic centers and medical industry with clinical trials underway to test potential prediction and intervention devices for FDA approval. Therefore, development of algorithms and devices that, based on early detection of precursors to such apparently abrupt episodes, could issue on-time warnings and trigger on-demand interventions is of emerging importance. We are one of the leading research groups in the world in this effort.