Crowdsourced Seizure Prediction

A public contest makes the biggest seizure breakthrough in 15 years.

By Gordy SlackOct 29, 2015 5:00 AM
David Mack/Science Source


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Fifty million people have epilepsy, and many suffer brutally unpredictable seizures. If the seizures could be anticipated, electrical brain implants could stop a nascent seizure in its tracks, or at least give patients warning.

For 15 years the National Institutes of Health and other agencies spent $40 million trying — and never quite succeeding — to devise algorithms that could spot a growing neurologic storm. Then a frustrated group of epilepsy physicians invited computer nerds around the world to take a shot instead, providing data sets recorded from the brains of human epilepsy patients and epileptic dogs.

Three months — and $30,000 of prize money — later, the winners had produced algorithms predicting seizures with better than 84 percent accuracy.

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 40% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2023 Kalmbach Media Co.