Epilepsy affects more than 50 million people worldwide. The disorder is caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain that can bring about seizures, changes in awareness or sensation and behavior. Despite multiple attempts to control seizure activity with medication, three million Americans suffer from recurrent, spontaneous epileptic seizures, the onset of which cannot be predicted or detected in advance.
A team of researchers from Penn and the
The Seizure Detection and Prediction Challenge, an international competition sponsored by the
A second phase, the seizure prediction challenge, will follow and award the winning contestant or group
Neurostimulation represents a possible therapy capable of aborting seizures before they affect a patient's normal activities. However, in order for a responsive neurostimulation device to successfully stop seizures, a seizure must be detected and electrical stimulation applied as early as possible.
"Accurate seizure detection and prediction are key to building effective devices to treat epilepsy," says
"This competition is an innovative way for researchers to come together to advance science and our understanding of epilepsy," says So. "AES features the most recent clinical and basic research, technology and treatment developments, and the findings from this competition will be very important to our community of epilepsy professionals. We are pleased to announce the results at our annual meeting."
Current treatment options, when medications fail, used to be limited to epilepsy surgery, vagus nerve stimulation, or enrollment in an experimental clinical trial. Advances in neuroengineering have led to implantable devices that target epilepsy and other neurological diseases. These crowd sourced competitions are an important step in making these devices better.
The challenges are hosted by Kaggle.com, an online community where data scientists come together to solve complex problems and can be found at https://www.kaggle.com/c/seizure-detection. The first contest runs until
After the contest, these unique data sets will be made freely available to researchers worldwide by the NIH,
"This contest addresses the needs of millions of people suffering from epilepsy, a disorder which can greatly interfere with daily living and negatively impact patients' quality of life," says
In addition to Dr. Litt, the Penn team is co-led by
The work is funded by NINDS (1U24-NS063930) in addition to the contest sponsors.
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