New research led by University College London Hospital (UCLH) and the Keck School of Medicine of USC has identified physical differences in the brains of those with epilepsy, compared to those who do not have the condition.   In the largest ever neuro-imaging study of people with epilepsy, the researchers found that the brains of those with epilepsy exhibited a reduction in the thickness of the grey matter and/or reduced volume in several brain regions.These structural changes are evident in multiple brain regions and are found across the many different types of epilepsies.  Notably those with epilepsy exhibited lower volume in a region (the right thalamus)  which relays sensory and motor signals; and reduced thickness in the motor cortex, which controls the body’s movement.Whilst these findings appear to suggest that there is a common neuroanatomical basis for epilepsy, at the moment research cannot ascertain whether these  differences are due to the consequences of seizures or to an initial brain trauma.  But both the reduction in thickness and in volume seem to be associated with a longer duration of epilepsy.Professor Sanjay Sisodiya, a consultant at UCLH says “While we haven’t yet assessed the impact of these differences, our findings suggest there’s more to epilepsy than we realise, and now we need to do more research to understand the causes of these differences.”To read more about the research study, here is a link to the article: