Seizure PET/MRI

Patients who suffer from epilepsy can be treated most effectively when the origin of their seizures can be specifically localized to one or more regions within the brain. Careful clinical evaluation, electroencephalogram (EEG) and 3 tesla MRI serve as the cornerstones for modern seizure localization. When the exact location of seizure onset remains uncertain after these tools have been used, adjunct imaging modalities such as PET, magnetoencephalography (MEG) and single-photon emission tomography (SPECT) become especially useful for the successful evaluation of patients with epilepsy. Decreased uptake of FDG on PET images of the brain reflects diminished metabolic activity within epileptogenic brain regions. The use of simultaneous PET/MRI, an instrument available at few institutions outside UCSF, allows one to co-localize anatomic and metabolic abnormalities by simultaneously exploiting the advantages of MRI and PET, thereby promising greater accuracy and ultimately more successful treatment of this common disorder.