Étude multimodale de l'épilepsie réfractaire

 

Dang Khoa Nguyen

Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal

 

Domaine : neurosciences, santé mentale et toxicomanies

Programme chercheurs-boursiers cliniciens - Senior

Concours 2015-2016

Epilepsy is the most common chronic neurological condition after cerebrovascular disorders. Uncontrolled seizures are not only a major personal handicap but also represent a considerable public health burden due to high use of health care resources, high number of disability days or unemployment, and low annual income. Furthermore, chronic epilepsy generally impairs cognition most importantly in patients with an early onset, long disease duration and poor seizure control. As a neurologist/epileptologist, I focus both my practice and research on improving the lives of epileptic patients. Our laboratory focuses on two main areas of interests: near infrared spectroscopy applied to epilepsy and insular cortex epilepsy.

Near-infrared spectroscopy is a relatively novel neuroimaging technique which uses light (in the near infrared spectrum) to probe the brain and assess the rapid changes in regional cerebral blood volume. Because focal seizures elicit significant changes in brain circulation and oxygenation, our group is working towards developing and evaluating the full potential of this technique, notably to detect an d localize seizures, monitor patients with epilepsy or at risk of developing seizures, and better understand the hemodynamic and tissue oxygenation changes associated with these events.
 
Insular cortex epilepsy refers to patients whose seizures arise from a relatively unknown and neglected structure called the insula. This complex structure located deep in the brain is implicated in various roles and functions such as the processing of several stimuli (touch, pain, internal sensations, taste, and hearing) but also other higher cognitive functions such as emotions, language and motivation among others. Our group is attempting to unravel the mysteries of insular cortex epilepsy from its clinical presentation to its causes, diagnostic methods to recognize it and treatment modalities.

Ultimately, our work should improve the comprehension of uncontrolled epilepsies and improve care to patients.