The Pal lab team recently attend the 13th European Congress for Epileptology in Vienna on 26-30 August 2018.
At this conference Stuart Smith presented a poster on the changes in cortical thickness in adolescents with Rolandic epilepsy (RE) in seizure remission. This poster was based on pilot study of four children with RE and four healthy controls. The cortex is the outer part of the brain which contains many brain cells called neurons. Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans we found that in adolescents with RE in seizure remission, that there was reduction in the rate of normal cortical thinning compared to healthy controls. This is an interesting finding as research has identified that children with rolandic epilepsy have problems with speech, language and reading. At the moment it is unclear whether these problems persist in seizure remission. Our future plans are to analyse more scans and investigate how these differences in brain growth may influence cognitive abilities.
Holly Crudgington presented a research poster that was part of the CASTLE project. The poster she presented displayed the results of the ‘CHOICE’ aspect of CASTLE. ‘CHOICE’ is an acronym for ‘Core Health Outcomes in Childhood Epilepsy’ and is the first work package of the CASTLE project. The aim of CHOICE was to develop a core set of outcomes that are important to measure in rolandic epilepsy research. The poster displayed the results of an online Delphi survey in which young people with epilepsy, their parents and professionals took part. Participants were asked to rate the importance of various outcome domains and how important they are to be included in rolandic epilepsy research. Some of the outcomes that were of importance included ‘Sleep, Mental Health and Family functioning’. The conference was a great experience to start sharing the results of the CASTLE project and to hear about other important research that is happening in epilepsy. Now we have the results for ‘what’ to measure, the next part of the CHOICE project is to figure out the best way to measure these outcomes.