Computational Modeling of Large-Scale Epileptic Networks for Surgical Targeting
The goal of the Episurge project is to provide clinicians with novel, complementary tools that will increase surgery success and minimize invasiveness for the treatment of focal drug resistant epilepsy (DRE). The most efficient treatment of DRE is resective surgery, which is underused and has barely improved its outcome of seizure-free patients for the past 50 years. Our common solution towards a better management of DRE is a bioinformatic approach using personalized brain models, derived from each patient’s own anatomy. A personalized virtual brain is constructed from the patient’s non-invasive neuroimaging data. Computer simulations of the virtual brain for each DRE patient generate predictions for personalized surgery procedures. The predictions of the model will be validated in mouse models of epilepsy and compared to empirical clinical data, in particular surgical outcome. The virtual brain technology will also test in silico novel highly innovative therapeutic solutions; such as spatially distributed multi-focal laser microsurgery, which is currently used in Cleveland. If our joint project is successful, treatment of DRE will transform into a minimally invasive procedure with significantly reduced pre-surgical evaluation time, morbidity, mortality rates, and surgery failures (especially in the most difficult cases). This will dramatically increase treatment utilization in DRE and will transform the lives of millions of patients.