In an exciting development for epilepsy sufferers, researchers have discovered information that may lead to the development of a smartphone #App to predict #Seizures. Such an app could be life-changing for people with epilepsy who live in daily uncertainty whether they will suffer a #Seizure.

What is epilepsy and how many people does it affect?

Epilepsy is a chronic disorder that is characterized by recurrent seizures. There are different types of seizures with varying degrees of intensity. It is the fourth most common neurological disorder, after migraines, stroke and Alzheimer's, and affects some 65 million people worldwide.

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Previous systems to predict seizures have failed. A lack of data played a large part in the lack of success of earlier systems to predict seizures. This time, a larger volume of data was recorded that covered three years and involved fifteen patients. With this larger set of data, researchers have now shown that seizure prediction is feasible.

App would predict likelihood of a seizure

This time, researchers have developed a set up where users will enter information about their seizure activity, medication, and other factors, combined with environmental and brain data. The app will use that data to predict the likelihood of having a seizure on that day. This forecast can be shown through five risk levels, and the patient can choose to personalize the presentation of the information. Also, long-term use can provide the patient with seizure patterns and more personalized predictions.

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Accurately predicting seizures is an illusion but an indication of probability will allow for epilepsy patients to adapt their activities in a way to minimize seizure risk. For example, any strenuous activity would be better done on days when the seizure forecast is below 20 percent than when it is above 80 percent.

Personalized data for patients

Up to now, attempts were made to predict whether a patient would likely have a seizure that day or not. This method proved unreliable given the brain's complex structure and responses to the situation. Using a forecast model with five levels of risk is more accurate, partly because a previous study showed that many patients have their seizures at a specific time of day. This new app would allow all patients to receive more useful data for their particular situation, prevent seizure frequency and improve their quality of life.