Epilepsy can be a devastating disorder. In addition to debilitating seizures, epilepsy can cause cognitive and emotional problems with reduced quality of life. Therefore, the major aim is to prevent the disorder in the first place: identify, detect, and reverse the processes responsible for its onset, and monitor and treat its progression. Epilepsy often occurs following a latent period of months to years (epileptogenesis) as a consequence of a brain insult, such as head trauma, stroke, or status epilepticus. Although this latent period clearly represents a therapeutic window, we are not able to stratify patients at risk for long-term epilepsy, which is prerequisite for preventative clinical trials. Moreover, because of the length of the latent period, an early biomarker for treatment response would be of high value. Finally, mechanistic biomarkers of epileptogenesis may provide more profound insight in the process of disease development.
- Blood–brain barrier
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Nuclear medicine imaging (PET/SPECT)