Research & Publications
If treatment with medication is not successful, neurosurgery is potentially curative for patients with epilepsy. The ability of patients to proceed to surgery rests on the patient and the surgical team being able to accurately evaluate the likely benefits and risks of surgery, however. A critical component of this evaluation is determining whether surgery could pose any risk to language or memory. While we can identify which half of the brain is critical to language using fMRI (or Wada testing), we do not yet have simple methods for mapping the specific brain areas important for language within a given hemisphere.
My work is focused on determining how we can best use fMRI to lateralize and localize language presurgically. There are numerous published methods, and are working to compare the validity of these and other approaches.
We hope this work will lead to identifying the best methods to give our patients, neurologists and neurosurgeons simple, accurate predictions of what a patient's life will look like in the future if they do or do not proceed to neurosurgery.
Specialized Terms: Epilepsy, MRI, fMRI, DWI, Language, Memory, Vision
Extensive Research Description
• Validity of cognitive testing for identifying seizure focus, and surgical outcome.
• Validity of fMRI methods for predicting language change after surgery.
• Comparison of fMRI and intracranial language mapping for predicting language change after surgery.
Epilepsy; Language; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Memory; Neurology; Neurosurgery; Vision, Ocular