Posted on by Dr. Francis Collins
For millions of people with epilepsy, life comes with too many restrictions. If they just had a reliable way to predict when their next seizure will come, they could have a chance at leading more independent and productive lives.
That’s why it is so encouraging to hear that researchers have developed a new algorithm that can predict the onset of a seizure correctly 82 percent of the time. Until recently, the best algorithm was hardly better than flipping a coin, leading some to speculate that seizures are random neurological events that can’t be predicted at all. But the latest leap forward shows that seizures certainly can be predicted, and our research efforts are headed in the right direction to make them even more predictable. The other big news is how this new algorithm was developed: it’s the product of a crowdsourcing competition.