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UCLA research team selected to present original epilepsy research on Capitol Hill
Date:4/28/2014

A graduate student in Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, and two of his undergraduate trainees, were selected by the Council on Undergraduate Research to present their original research on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.

Wesley Kerr, whose graduate studies will be completed in the UCLA Department of Biomathematics, and his trainees, Akash Patel and Sarah Barritt, will present their poster entitled "Computer-Aided Diagnosis of Epilepsy Using Clinical Information" outlining advances in the use of computational machine learning to help clinicians detect and diagnose epilepsy correctly.

"This is very exciting," Kerr said of the selection to participate. "It's always nice to get exposure for our work."

The Posters on the Hill exhibit typically picks just one or two research projects per state to participate in the prestigious event, said Mark Cohen, Kerr's faculty advisor and a professor-in-residence of psychiatry in the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.

"A large fraction of patients with seizure disorder are misdiagnosed and treated inappropriately," Cohen said. "As such treatments carry their own risks and negative side effects, their research could positively affect the lives of millions of Americans."

The goal of Kerr's team was to estimate the probability of epilepsy versus non-epileptic seizures based on the historical factors reported by the patient to their neurologist.

Distinguishing between epileptic and non-epileptic seizures is a challenge, Kerr said. On average, the time from the first seizure to the diagnosis of non-epileptic seizures is seven years. In the meantime, a majority of those patients are misdiagnosed with epilepsy and treated inappropriately with anti-epileptic medications.

"This can expose patients to serious, and potentially fatal, side effects," Kerr said. "One of our laboratory's goals is to create an automated system that
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Contact: Kim Irwin
kirwin@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-2262
University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert  

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UCLA research team selected to present original epilepsy research  on Capitol Hill
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