Researchers from the Health System and the are challenging the best minds in science to improve how epilepsy is treated.

The “Seizure Detection and Prediction Challenge” will involve two competitions, with $28,000 in prize money, aimed at finding new  ways to detect and predict seizure onset. Epilepsy is a brain disorder that afflicts 3 million Americans and 50 million people worldwide.

“Accurate seizure detection and prediction are key to building effective devices to treat epilepsy,” said Dr., a professor of neurology and bioengineering and director of Penn’s new Center for Neuroengineering and Therapeutics.

In the first phase of the contest, which focuses on seizure detection, contestants will analyze retrospective prolonged intracranial EEG  [electroencephalography] data recorded from four dogs with naturally occurring epilepsy and from eight patients with medication-resistant seizures during evaluation for epilepsy surgery. The contestant or group that can identify the earliest EEG changes leading to seizures, with the fewest false alarms, wins $8,000.

In the second phase, which focuses on seizure predictions, $20,000 will be awarded to the winning contestant or group that uses the same data set to predict seizures in advance of their clinical onset with the highest accuracy.

The international competition was designed and is being coordinated by Penn and Mayo Clinic researchers. It’s being sponsored by the American Epilepsy Society,National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and the Epilepsy Foundation.

More information on the contest can be found.


Source: George, John. “Penn and Mayo Clinic researchers challenge scientists to improve epilepsy treatment” 29 July 2014.Accessed 29 July 2014.