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Why Are Patients With Absence Seizures Absent? A Brain Imaging Study

This study has been completed.
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Hal Blumenfeld, Yale University Identifier:
First received: October 23, 2006
Last updated: January 25, 2016
Last verified: January 2016
Our study examines which different brain regions are involved in child absence seizures and how they are related to attention and cognition.

Childhood Absence Epilepsy

Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Observational Model: Case Control
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: Functional Neuroimaging in Childhood Absence Epilepsy

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Hal Blumenfeld, Yale University:

Biospecimen Retention:   Samples With DNA
Saliva samples

Enrollment: 180
Study Start Date: September 2006
Study Completion Date: September 2015
Primary Completion Date: September 2015 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Detailed Description:

The fundamental mechanisms of altered brain function and impaired attention in childhood absence epilepsy (CAE) are not known. Absence seizures consist of brief 5-10 seconds episodes of unresponsiveness, associated with a 3-4 Hz "spike-wave" discharge on electroencephalogram (EEG). CAE affects 10-15% of children with epilepsy. In addition to the deficit during seizures, many children also suffer from milder attention impairment between absence episodes, which may not be due entirely to medications. Impaired attention during and between absence seizures has a major negative impact on patient quality of life due to deficits in school performance, potential for injuries, and social stigma.

Recent studies suggest that impaired cognition in so-called "generalized" absence seizures may, in fact, depend on dysfunction in specific brain networks. Our central hypothesis is: abnormal function in focal brain regions, such as the anterior cingulate/medial prefrontal cortex and medial thalamus, causes impaired attention both during and between seizures in CAE. If confirmed, this may lead to innovative regional therapies targeted at improving impaired attention in CAE. Specifically, we hope to determine which specific cortical and sub-cortical networks are selectively involved when patients show impaired attention. Using simultaneous EEG and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we will determine which brain regions are involved in absence seizures while using a continuous performance task (CPT) to test attention vigilance in the same patients. A few neuropsychology tests will then follow. Patients will be reimbursed $100 as well as all travel and parking expenses.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   6 Years to 18 Years   (Child, Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population
Pediatric patients diagnosed with absence epilepsy

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Confirmed diagnosis of childhood absence epilepsy or juvenile absence epilepsy
  • No other serious health problems or neurological problems
  • 6 years or older

Exclusion Criteria:

  • No history of myoclonic or tonic-clonic seizures
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00393666

United States, Connecticut
Yale University School of Medicine, Neurology Department
New Haven, Connecticut, United States, 06510
Sponsors and Collaborators
Yale University
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Principal Investigator: Hal Blumenfeld, MD, PhD Yale University
Study Director: Michiro Negishi, PhD Diagnostic Radiology
Study Director: R. Todd Constable, PhD Yale University
Study Director: Jennifer Guo, MS Yale University
  More Information

Responsible Party: Hal Blumenfeld, Principal Investigator, Yale University Identifier: NCT00393666     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: NIH R01 NS055829
HIC # 18514
Study First Received: October 23, 2006
Last Updated: January 25, 2016

Keywords provided by Hal Blumenfeld, Yale University:

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Epilepsy, Absence
Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Epilepsy, Generalized processed this record on September 19, 2017