VISE Summer Research in Progress (RiPs) 7.27.23
VISE Summer Seminar to be led by
Derek Doss (BME)
Behnaz Akbarian (BME)
Date: Thursday, July 27, 2023
Time: 11:45 am for lunch, noon start
Location: Stevenson Center 532
RiP Speaker #1:
Derek Doss, Biomedical Engineering Department
RiP Title #1:
Network Signatures of Focal Impaired Awareness Seizures in Surgical Epilepsy
Epilepsy is a common neurological disease consisting of recurrent seizures, affecting nearly 1% of the global population. The most common type of seizures are focal impaired awareness seizures (FIAS), in which patients will lose consciousness. These seizures can be particularly devastating to patients and are not fully understood given that the area of seizure onset is not associated with consciousness. Analysis of network changes during seizures may aid in improving treatment options for patients with FIAS. Therefore, we collected long term intracranial electrographic data from patients in the Vanderbilt Epilepsy Monitoring Unit and used expert epileptologist reports along with video monitoring to categorize seizure types. We then compared network changes during seizures with impaired consciousness and seizures with preserved consciousness.
Derek received his Bachelor of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering from Vanderbilt University in 2019. Afterwards, he joined the MD/PhD program at Vanderbilt with the ultimate goal of becoming a neurosurgeon-scientist. He currently is in his second year of PhD studies in Dr. Dario Englot’s Brain Imaging and Electrophysiology Network (BIEN) lab.
RiP Speaker #2:
Behnaz Akbarian, Biomedical Engineering Department
RiP Title #2:
Postsurgical and Presurgical Functional Connectivity in Patients with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is the most common form of epilepsy, characterized by seizures originating from the temporal lobe. TLE is often drug-resistant in up to 30% of patients. In such cases, surgery may be recommended to stop or substantially reduce the frequency of seizures. A common procedure to select patients for surgery is presurgical evaluation, including prolonged video-EEG, neuroimaging, and neuropsychological assessment. Even after this costly and inconvenient presurgical evaluation, approximately one-third of patients will continue to experience postoperative seizures. So, improved methods to predict the surgical outcome are a remaining clinical challenge.
Examination of presurgical functional connectivity (FC) and structural connectivity (SC) networks shows their ability to predict short-term seizure outcomes. But surgical outcomes will change over time in some cases. The possibility of late seizure recurrence, as late as ten years after surgery, exists even in initially seizure-free patients. The presence of new epileptogenic regions in surgically spared network and the reorganization of the brain network after surgery can be likely reasons for “late” seizure recurrence. Therefore, the ultimate seizure outcome is dependent on not only the presurgical but also postsurgical brain connectivity.
The aim of my study is to characterize the relationship between the postsurgical FC and seizure outcomes and then to investigate whether these postsurgical findings are present in the presurgical data.
I am Behnaz, I was born in Tehran, Iran. I received my master’s degree from Iran University of Science and Technology in Iran. I moved to the US in Jan 2022. My current research as a PhD student focuses on utilizing Neuro imaging techniques to study epilepsy.