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Keywords:

  • Genomics;
  • Human brain;
  • Electrocorticography;
  • Therapeutics;
  • Diagnostics;
  • Tumor-related epilepsy

Summary

Epilepsy is a disease of recurrent seizures that can be associated with a wide variety of acquired and developmental brain lesions. Current medications for patients with epilepsy can suppress seizures; they do not cure or modify the underlying disease process. On the other hand, surgical removal of focal brain regions that produce seizures can be curative. This surgical procedure can be more precise with the placement of intracranial recording electrodes to identify brain regions that generate seizure activity as well as those that are critical for normal brain function. The detail that goes into these surgeries includes extensive neuroimaging, electrophysiology, and clinical data. Combined with precisely localized tissues removed, these data provide an unparalleled opportunity to learn about the interrelationships of many “systems” in the human brain not possible in just about any other human brain disorder. Herein, we describe a systems biology approach developed to study patients who undergo brain surgery for epilepsy and how we have begun to apply these methods to patients whose seizures are associated with brain tumors. A central goal of this clinical and translational research program is to improve our understanding of epilepsy and brain tumors and to improve diagnosis and treatment outcomes of both.