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Imaging structure and function in refractory focal epilepsy.

Lancet Neurology 2005 January
Over the past decade there have been many advances in data acquisition and analysis for structural and functional neuroimaging of people with epilepsy. New imaging sequences and analysis techniques have increased the resolution of images such that underlying structural pathology can be seen in many patients with "cryptogenic" epilepsy. When an epileptogenic lesion is present, antiepileptic drugs alone rarely prevent seizures. However, the success of surgical treatment is improved when a structural lesion has been identified. Lesions might not overlap with the area of the cortex generating seizures and may continue into areas sustaining normal functions. To prevent postsurgical morbidity, the spatial relation between functionally important areas and the epileptogenic lesion must be assessed before surgery. In this review we describe the potential of different neuroimaging techniques to show lesions, assess neuronal function, and assist with the prognosis of postsurgical outcome in patients with refractory focal epilepsy.

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