University of North Florida professor receives epilepsy research grant

Mona Nasseri will work to create forecasting algorithms that can help manage doses of anti-seizure medication.

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University of North Florida assistant professor of electrical engineering Mona Nasseri was awarded a $199,000 National Science Foundation grant to research wearable devices for women with seizure disorders to better predict the onset of a seizure event.

The study will focus on improving the quality of life of women with epilepsy by creating forecasting algorithms that can help manage doses of anti-seizure medication based on the predicted seizure risk. 

A news release from UNF states that almost 1% of the world’s population lives with epilepsy and half of them are women, whose seizures and anti-seizure medicines affect their menstrual cycle, pregnancy, menopause and bone health.

The research will investigate hormonal changes associated with the menstrual cycle and their effects on seizure risks in women.

UNF researchers will analyze physiological signals recorded with noninvasive wearable devices and consider hormonal changes in the design to mitigate false alarms and improve sensitivity.

Nasseri also collaborated with Mayo Clinic on a study that found patterns when researchers compared physiological data collected by a monitoring device worn on the wrist with the actual time of a seizure.

Through analysis of data, researchers determined they could have been able to forecast most of the seizures about 30 minutes before they occurred for five of six patients studied.