Signs of Seizure
A prototype device to
forewarn epileptic seizures is being developed at the Department of
Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory. SeizAlert—a
Seizure Alerting Device—is a low-cost, compact, wearable
device designed to alert the wearer and medical personnel of an
impending epileptic seizure. Developed by a research team at Oak
Ridge National Laboratory, Tenn., SeizAlert’s early warning
capability is obtained by advanced nonlinear statistical analysis of
real-time multichannel scalp electroencephalogram (EEG) data.
Competing systems do not use suitable artifact filters, generally
employ linear methodologies, and have difficulty with scalp data,
relying almost exclusively on invasive, intracranial data (limiting
its usefulness for long-term ambulatory monitoring).
SeizAlert is a portable, PDA implemented
device. Its warning window for an epileptic seizure can be from 1
min to 5.3 hr. It does, however, have a high accuracy for a large
number of seizures with a timely warning and a very low false
positive rate/hr. The main advantage of the device is that it is
non-invasive, obtaining both single channel and multichannel scalp
data. Beyond its
epileptic warning capabilities, other applications of the device
would be in forewarning of ventricular fibrillation events,
detection of inhaled-endotoxin-induced septic shock, a condition
change due to increased breathing difficulty, and a forewarning of
researcher Lee Hively says the SeizAlert system studies brain waves.
advanced statistical analysis from four scalp electrodes," Hively
says. "The analysis removes eye blink signals, compares the
non-seizure signature to subsequent intervals that can provide
forewarning for epileptic seizures. The present forewarning ranges
from 30 minutes to four hours for the most common form of epilepsy."
earned an Excellence in Technology Award from the Southeastern
Federal Laboratory Consortium and has also earned an R&D 100
Award. It is scheduled to undergo an initial clinical trial in
ORNL is managed by
UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.