Neurosciences Research Center team shines at American Epilepsy Society annual meeting
Cook Children's Neurosciences Research Center, led by Professor Christos Papadelis, Ph.D., was well-represented at the annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society, the largest community of professionals in the country aiming to improve the outcomes of people suffering from epilepsy. The meeting took place in Nashville, Tennessee, during the first week of December 2022.
The team received four prestigious awards, had two invited talks in the Pediatric Highlights session of the conference, and presented more than 10 posters as a leading research institution.
Lorenzo Ricci, a third year Ph.D., student at the University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome, Italy, received one of only two Jack Pellock Awards. Margherita Mataresse, a third year Ph.D., student at the University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome, Italy, and Dani Esteban, a fourth year medical student at the University of North Texas Health Science Center School of Osteopathic Medicine, received two of only eight Grass Foundation Young Investigator Awards. Finally, Lorenzo Fabbri, a third year Ph.D., student at the University of Texas at Arlington, received one of the 20 Young Investigator awards. Their abstracts were selected from over 1,300 abstracts submitted to the American Epilepsy Society annual meeting.
Lorenzo Ricci's project was entitled, "Ictal source imaging and functional connectivity on intracranial electroencephalography localize the seizure onset and predict surgical outcome in pediatric epilepsy." The project is in collaboration with Boston Children's Hospital and the University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome, Italy. In this project, Lorenzo analyzed scalp electroencephalography data from 35 children with drug-resistant epilepsy undergoing surgery. He demonstrated that electrical source imaging and functional connectivity applied to ictal electroencephalographic data facilitate the noninvasive estimation of the epileptogenic zone and predict the surgical outcome of patients with drug-resistant epilepsy. Lorenzo's project was selected to be presented at the Pediatric Highlights session of the conference as an oral presentation.
Margherita Mataresse's project was entitled, "Mapping of spike propagation reveals effective connectivity and predicts surgical outcome in epilepsy." The project is in collaboration with Boston Children's Hospital and the University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome, Italy. In this project, Margherita analyzes intracranial electrophysiological recordings from 43 children with drug-resistant epilepsy undergoing surgery. By using advanced signal processing methods, Margherita found that interictal epileptiform activity propagates across large areas of the brain. This propagation indicates a flow of information from onset areas to areas of spread. Surgical resection of the onset predicts outcomes better than resection of spread, thus disrupting the epileptogenic network and improving the surgical outcomes of the patients. Margherita's project was selected to be presented at the Pediatric Highlights session of the conference as an oral presentation.
Dani Esteban's project was entitled, "The impact of presurgical diagnostic testing on surgical decision making in pediatric MRI-negative drug-resistant epilepsy." In this project, Dani analyzed data from 352 children with MRI-negative epilepsy. She found that the likelihood of undergoing surgical treatment increased with each additional ancillary imaging test during the presurgical workup. The number of tests did not influence the chances of achieving seizure freedom or avoiding invasive EEG monitoring.
Lorenzo Fabbri's project entitled, "Pathological and physiological high-frequency oscillations on whole-brain noninvasive recordings: Comparing healthy children and patients with epilepsy," was done in collaboration with Boston Children's Hospital and is supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. In this project, Lorenzo analyzed magnetoencephalography and high-density electroencephalography data from 19 typically developing children and 14 children with drug-resistant epilepsy. He presented for the first time a 3D cortical map of physiological high frequency oscillatory activity in the normal pediatric brain, and identified features that can discriminate between physiological and pathological high frequency oscillations. These features may allow the development of novel noninvasive biomarkers of epilepsy that can facilitate the presurgical evaluation of patients with drug resistant epilepsy and eventually improve their surgical outcome.
In addition to these research presentations, M. Scott Perry, M.D., head of Neurosciences at the Jane and John Justin Institute for Mind Health, presented on epilepsy surgery as part of the Annual Course and later chaired the Pediatric State of the Art Symposium.