Scientists Detect Silent Seizures with Sound | AIChE

Scientists Detect Silent Seizures with Sound


A “stethoscope” for the brain allows even untrained observers to detect seizures — just by listening to brain waves.

Researchers at Stanford Univ. have developed a way to use a computer synthesizer to convert the electrical activity of the brain into sound. These sound waves provide an indication of silent seizures — disruptions in the brain’s electrical activity that do not involve visible convulsions.

As many as 90% of patients in an intensive care unit may have silent seizures, says Josef Parvizi, a neurologist at the Stanford Univ. Medical Center. The seizures can be detected by electroencephalography (EEG), which involves placing electrodes on the patient’s scalp, but there is often a delay of several hours between the completion of the EEG and an interpretation of the EEG readout by a trained neurologist.

About nine years ago, after listening to an experimental concert by the Kronos Quartet that involved sounds...

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