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

can aid physicians in distinguishing patients with epileptic and non-epileptic seizures."

Kerr and his team accomplished this by inspecting outpatient clinical notes from patients with medication-resistant seizure disorder, who were later diagnosed as having epilepsy or non-epileptic seizure disorder, using the gold standard diagnostic assessment, 72- hour in-patient closed circuit video-electroencephalography (VEEG) monitoring.

Using a combination of the known risk factors for epilepsy and non-epileptic seizures reported in 228 clinical notes the team examined, their algorithm achieved a diagnosis accuracy of 65%. While at first glance this may appear low, it is comparable to the accuracy of neurologists prior to VEEG monitoring. In this work, they used a machine learning method known as a "decision tree."

"The structure of our decision tree also provided meaningful information about the interpretation of each risk factor in each patient. For example, the risk factors for non-epileptic seizures may not be the same for women and men," Kerr said. "This work may help diagnose, and thereby more effectively treat, patients that are in need."

In addition to serving patients with seizure disorder, the computer-aided diagnostic methods developed by Kerr and his team may be applicable to the diagnosis of other maladies in the future.

As part of their trip, Patel, Barritt and Kerr will take meetings in the offices of California state senators and representatives. They will use this forum to emphasize the importance of appropriate diagnosis in epilepsy and the academic environment at UCLA that made this research possible.


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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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