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 August 23, 2011

BME Seniors Improving Automatic Detection of Epileptic Seizures

A group of BME Seniors led by Professor Laurel Carney has been working together since Fall of their Sophomore year on a research project with the goal of improving automatic detection of epileptic seizures. This debilitating neurologic disorder has an impact on millions of patients, yet there is hope for better treatment through improved detection and someday, prediction, of seizures. The group founded UR DASDA (Database for Automatic Seizure Detection Algorithms), and established a goal of setting up an internet-based database that will provide high-quality electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings for researchers around the world who are developing seizure detection algorithms.

In collaboration with Drs. James Burchfiel, Michel Berg, and staff in the Strong Epilepsy Center in the Department of Neurology, the group is collecting data that will be suitable for this research effort. Owen Zacharias, from the Departments of BME and Neurobiology & Anatomy, has been coordinating efforts with the computing administrators at the URMC to establish a website that can handle the large datafiles that are being developed. The students designed a website that will allow researchers to carefully select and download examples of seizures for use in testing algorithms. They are currently populating the database with datafiles, with a goal of 100 entries, including infants through older adults and a wide range of seizure types. A preliminary report of this database will be presented at the Fall conference of the Biomedical Engineering Society in Hartford Connecticut. The BME Seniors in UR DASDA are Gregory Hartnett, Andrew Hagar, Caitlin O'Connell, Zachary Milstone, Brian Schwartz, and Geoffrey Yee.