Contribution of Genetics Non-invasive Methods and Neuropsychology in Focal Cryptogenic Epilepsies

  • End date
    Dec 31, 2023
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    IRCCS Eugenio Medea
Updated on 27 August 2021


Patients with cryptogenic focal epilepsy (unknown cause) represent about the 30% of the entire population of epilepsy patients. Among them, about 30% are drug-resistant. The implementation of of high-field magnetic resonance imaging resolution, the new Next Generation Sequencing techniques,and innovative non-invasive neurophysiological methods (Electroencephalogram-Functional magnetic resonance imaging and High Density-Electroencephalogram) could provide a superior identification of the epileptogenic zone and therefore an increased access to epilepsy surgery.

Despite this, patients with cryptogenic epilepsy require more frequently invasive methods of presurgical study and they have more unfavorable results than patients with lesions detectable on magnetic resonance imaging. Within this context, the study is aimed at integrating the neurophysiological, radiological, neuropsychological and genetic aspects of patients with focal cryptogenic epilepsy in order to evaluate their surgical eligibility,sparing invasive methods.


The investigators foresee study duration of 36 months and the enrollment of about 20-25 patients, affected by cryptogenic epilepsy with onset during pediatric age (0-18 years), not only to identify the cause of epilepsy and the epileptogenic zone, but also to define in a non-invasive manner, the patient's possible eligibility for surgical therapy.

Innovative neurophysiological methods, such as combined Electroencephalogram-Functional magnetic resonance imaging recording and high resolution electroencephalogram, in addition to 7 Tesla brain magnetic resonance imaging (available through the Imago7 non-profit foundation), neuropsychological studies and genetic tests through Next generation sequencing allow an advanced pre-surgical study free from the risks and discomforts caused by invasive methods. The systematic use of these diagnostic approaches will implement the knowledge and skills of the teams and it will stimulate their use in the clinical daily practise, especially for pediatric patients.

In addition to that, the investigators would like to analyse descriptive indications relating to the diagnostic sensitivity of the combined Electroencephalogram-Functional magnetic resonance imaging recording, High Density-electroencephalogram and 7 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging in the identification of the epileptogenic zone, in patients with cryptogenic focal epilepsy.

Condition Epilepsy Intractable, Intractable Epilepsy, Focal epilepsy
Treatment Standard of Care, Functional magnetic resonance imaging-Electroencephalogram combined analysis, High density- electroencephalogram or 7 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT05015868
SponsorIRCCS Eugenio Medea
Last Modified on27 August 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

focal epilepsy, onset during pediatric age (<18 y)
drug resistance
unknown cause
Brain magnetic resonance imaging negative

Exclusion Criteria

epilepsy with good therapeutic control
focal symptomatic epilepsy
age limits onset (> 18 y)
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