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New epilepsy diagnosis available outside lab

A new high-tech headset could make analysing brain activity feasible even away from the hospital.


Developed by alumni of the University of California, San Diego through a company called Cognionics, the dry, portable system makes it easier to take electroencephalograms (EEGs)—tests used to diagnose epilepsy and other neurological disorders and study brain activity.

Normally, in order to get a high-quality reading of possible seizure activity, dozens of nodes are attached to different places around the scalp using conductive gel or paste.  However, researchers  at the University of California say the Cognionics headset is just as accurate as a traditional EEG, without the gels or wires.

Their elastic headgear is embedded with 64 flexible, spider-like sensors that can read brain waves through human hair. Although not intended to be a fashion accessory, the device is practical and can be worn during a normal day at home for an ambulatory EEG.

Traditional EEGs are difficult to use outside the hospital setting, because they require hooking up a patient to a machine. It is hoped that the new device will be able to provide real-world results.

“This is going to take neuroimaging to the next level by deploying on a much larger scale,” said Mike Yu Chi, the study’s lead author. “You will be able to work in subjects’ homes. "

Read more about EEGs at Epilepsy Society