Another tool used in the diagnosis of epilepsy is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This is another non-invasive and painless way to try to help diagnose epilepsy. It uses magnetic fields and radio waves to penetrate the brain in order to give very detailed scans which will identify small lesions and scars in the brain. It is extremely useful in identifying the location of the seizure activity so is used widely where surgery may be a treatment possibility. Occasionally it may be necessary to inject a dye into the veins to enhance the images. The whole procedure should take about an hour as it requires the patient’s head to be fixed in the scanner at the hospital. For these and other reasons the system is compromised.
This year, 2019, Epilepsy Research UK awarded a grant to Dr Umesh Vivekananda from the Institute of Neurology, University College London, to a project which
aims to develop and use a novel, state-of-the-art form of electrical brain recording called portable Magnetoencephalography. This will likely be able to record abnormal epileptic activity with much greater accuracy, and clarity than present methods, so greatly facilitating the identification of areas of brain region causing the epilepsy. This has the potential to revolutionise the assessment of people for epilepsy brain surgery.