Evolutionary algorithms and frequent itemset mining for analyzing epileptic oscillations
Smart, Otis Lkuwamy
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This research presents engineering tools that address an important area impacting many persons worldwide: epilepsy. Over 60 million people are affected by epilepsy, a neurological disorder characterized by recurrent seizures that occur suddenly. Surgery and anti-epileptic drugs (AED s) are common therapies for epilepsy patients. However, only persons with seizures that originate in an unambiguous, focal portion of the brain are candidates for surgery, while AED s can lead to very adverse side-effects. Although medical devices based upon focal cooling, drug infusion or electrical stimulation are viable alternatives for therapy, a reliable method to automatically pinpoint dysfunctional brain and direct these devices is needed. This research introduces a method to effectively localize epileptic networks, or connectivity between dysfunctional brain, to guide where to insert electrodes in the brain for therapeutic devices, surgery, or further investigation. The method uses an evolutionary algorithm (EA) and frequent itemset mining (FIM) to detect and cluster frequent concentrations of epileptic neuronal action potentials within human intracranial electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings. In an experiment applying the method to seven patients with neocortical epilepsy (a total of 35 seizures), the approach reliably identifies the seizure onset zone, in six of the subjects (a total of 31 seizures). Hopefully, this research will lead to a better control of seizures and an improved quality of life for the millions of persons affected by epilepsy.