Research is an integral component of the UF Comprehensive Epilepsy Program, to increase understanding of these disorders and to improve diagnostic and treatment techniques. The Program is supported by research from intellectual and physical resources of the McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Florida; as well as the Colleges of Medicine, Biomedical Engineering, and Computer and Information Science and Engineering at the University of Florida.
Ongoing research studies are being developed that focus on improving neuro-imaging techniques, understanding the pathophysiology of seizures both electrographically and structurally, and the neuroprosthetic control of brain activity through electrical stimulation and computers. Outcome studies are also ongoing to follow both non-surgical and surgical treatments of seizures, along with assessments of cognitive changes in patients with refractory seizures.
Current research programs include:
- The use of MRI diffusion tensor imaging to identify neuronal networks connecting various regions of the brain that can be correlated with functional measures in patients with seizures
- Development of methods to analyze multi-spectral data, specifically DTI, T1 and T2 MRI brain scans, to assess the morphological changes that occur in refractory epilepsy
- Assessment of driving performance during seizures and the effects of antiepileptic drugs on driving (IMAP) performance, using a state-of-the-art driving simulator to determine which patients are at higher risk for motor vehicle accidents
- Assessment of cellular mechanisms of epilepsy
- Use of high frequency EEG signal processing techniques to analyze abnormal brain discharges
- Study of cognitive changes in with patients with seizures