Last updated on June 2019

Neuroimaging Biomarker for Seizures


Brief description of study

This multi-site study will examine patients with epilepsy (ES) following head injury [i.e., posttraumatic epilepsy (PTE)] and posttraumatic psychogenic Non-epileptic seizures (PNES) and will compare them to patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) who do not have seizures using functional neuroimaging.

Detailed Study Description

Numerous Veterans and civilians have seizures, which can be epileptic or nonepileptic in nature. Epileptic seizures are caused by abnormal brain cell firing. Nonepileptic seizures appear similar to epileptic seizures, but are associated with traumatic experiences and underlying psychological stressors. Both types of seizure are common and disabling, and many patients with seizures do not have adequate control resulting in loss of quality of life.

In this proposed 3-site study ( Providence, RI and Birmingham, AL), which are epilepsy centers with expertise both in epilepsy and psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES), we will enroll 88 patients with video-EEG confirmed PNES and 88 with confirmed post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE) and will obtain functional neuroimaging before and after they receive a behavioral treatment - Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Seizures. The functional neuroimaging studies in these 176 Veterans will be compared to 88 Veterans with traumatic brain injury without seizures to test the hypothesis that the faulty processing of emotions and stress in patients with PNES/PTE and abnormal brain connectivity have unique signals in patients with seizures compared to Veterans without seizures and that the neuroimaging signatures can be modified using behavioral intervention.

Impact: This grant application for the first study investigating mechanisms of PNES and PTE will provide increased understanding of neural circuitry in PTE and PNES, which can inform PTE and PNES treatments and could change clinical neurologic and psychiatric practice for PTE and PNES.

Participants will be recruited at the Providence VA Medical Center, Rhode Island Hospital, and University of Alabama, Birmingham (UAB).

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03441867

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Rhode Island Hospital

Providence, RI United States
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Providence VA Medical Center

Providence, RI United States
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