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Tools for the statistical analysis of PET studies in refractory epilepsy

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Computer Software
Imaging, Image Processing, Pattern Recognition
Applications for Health
Diagnostics, Diagnosis
Neurology, Brain Research
Applications software
Medical/health software
Other medical imaging
Computer-aided diagnosis and therapy
Manufacture of medical and dental instruments and supplies
Other research and experimental development on natural sciences and engineering


A Spanish biomedical research center has developed a new and useful toolkit for locating the epileptogenic zone (EZ) in patients with complex partial seizures resistant to pharmacological treatment, in which surgery should be considered as a possible treatment. They are looking to establish licenses, research cooperation or technical cooperation agreements.



This research center gathers some of the most important Spanish research groups in biomedicine, who are located in more than 100 institutions like universities, hospitals, and technological centers distributed around the country.

The success of surgical treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy is determined by the accuracy of presurgical identification of the epileptogenic zone (EZ). This EZ is defined as “the minimum amount of cortex that must be resected to produce seizure freedom".
Positron emission tomography (PET) is part of the regular preoperative work-up in medically refractory epilepsy. As a complement to a visual evaluation of PET, statistical parametric maps can help in the detection of the EZ. However, software packages currently available are time-consuming and little intuitive for physicians.

The toolkit is useful for locating the EZ in patients with complex partial seizures resistant to pharmacological treatment in which surgery should be considered as a possible treatment. The inclusion of the tools developed in a graphic environment allows the generation of applications to help to locate the EZ by performing a voxel-to-voxel statistical analysis in PET images as a complementary tool.
In centers in which the SISCOM technique cannot be performed (Subtraction of Ictal SPECT Co-registered to Magnetic Resonance Imaging - MRI-), the analysis of PET studies is the neurofunctional test of the first choice.

The research center is looking to collaborate with industrial partners from the sectors of medical technologies, medical imaging, and software technologies through license, research cooperation or technical cooperation agreements. They want to enter into preclinical R&D collaboration or jointly collaborate in further developments until clinical proof-of-concept.

Advantages & innovations

Cooperation plus value: 
The toolkit is a robust objective complementary tool to visual assessment for EZ localization, its use does not require qualified technical personnel and it can be compiled in any operating environment. This new toolbox obtains previously validated results in a clinical setting, improves the detection of the epileptogenic zone in front of programs with fixed parameters, and allows the incorporation of own databases of individuals. These tools allow the localization of the EZ through a three-stage pipeline: 1) Spatial normalization of the PET study to the standard space, 2) Statistical analysis between the PET image of the patient and the database formed by images of control subjects; previously, the intensity of these images have been normalized, and, 3) Fusion of the result of the statistical analysis on the PET image, or preferably on the magnetic resonance image if it is available. The location of the EZ is based on the information that comes from a map of statistical significance that shows the metabolic differences between the PET study and a database formed by images of control subjects. The significance map allows the detection of EZ, identifying those regions that show a statistically significant decrease in metabolism. The programming language used for the development of the application is C ++. Currently, the routines are available to be compiled in Windows and Linux environments.

Stage of development

Cooperation stage dev stage: 
Prototype available for demonstration

Partner sought

Cooperation area: 
The research center has the software ready for licensing-out. They are seeking industrial partners of the medical technologies sector, medical image, or software sectors to: - enter into preclinical R&D collaboration via research cooperation agreements. - Further development until clinical proof-of-concept via technical cooperation agreement or license agreement.

Type and size

Cooperation task: 
SME 11-50,University,R&D Institution,SME <10,251-500,SME 51-250,>500