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C. Migliorelli, 2017

Methods for noninvasive localization of focal epileptic activity with magnetoencephalography

By Carolina Migliorelli Falcone
Directed by Miguel Angel Mañanas and Joan Francesc Alonso


Magnetoencephalography (MEG) is a noninvasive brain signal acquisition technique that provides excellent temporal resolution and a whole-head coverage allowing the spatial mapping of sources. These characteristics make MEG an appropriate technique to localize the epileptogenic zone in the preoperative evaluation of refractory epilepsy. Presurgical evaluation with MEG can guide the placement of intracranial EEG (iEEG), the current gold standard in the clinical practice, and even supply sufficient information for a surgical intervention without invasive recordings, reducing invasiveness, discomfort, and cost of the presurgical epilepsy diagnosis. However, MEG signals have low signal-to-noise ratio compared with iEEG and can sometimes be affected by noise that masks or distorts the brain activity. This may prevent the detection of interictal epileptiform discharges and high-frequency oscillations, two important biomarkers used in the preoperative evaluation of epilepsy. In this thesis, the reduction of two kinds of interference is aimed to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of MEG signals: metallic artifacts mask the activity of IEDs; and the high-frequency noise, that masks HFO activity. Considering the large number of MEG channels and the long duration of the recordings, reducing noise and marking events manually is a time-consuming task. The algorithms presented in this thesis provide automatic solutions aimed at the reduction of interferences and the detection of HFOs.

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