fMRI of Pediatric Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder, which affects 100,000 new pediatric patients each year. If epileptic seizures cannot be controlled with medication, surgery is considered as a last resort for treatment of debilitating seizures. The functional maps produced by fMRI can provide critical information to the neurologist and neurosurgeon about which parts of the brain responsible for critical functions such as speech, hearing, and motor control are functioning normally and which parts are abnormal and might be safely removed to control seizures.

fMRIimg   fMRIimg

fMRI data has been obtained from more than 30 children at CHMC during the past three years. Average results for a verb generation task are shown in Figure 1, and activation is apparent in areas normally associated with language processing, such as Broca's and Wernicke's areas. Further research will be conducted to validate fMRI as a new standard for presurgical mapping for epilepsy.