Improved Assessment of Resting State Functional Connectivity and Seizure Activity
in Infants Using DOI and EEG
Laura Dempsey1, Chuen Wai Lee, Rob Cooper, Harsimrat Singh, Andrea Edwards,
Topun Austin2
In the UK alone over 1,000 infants born at term experience seizures, typically due
to hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) brain injury. Infant seizures are often linked
to poor neurodevelopment and can be precursors of serious neurological disorders.
Electroencephalography (EEG) is the standard modality used to identify and monitor
seizures at cot-side; although temporally superior, it is limited in spatial resolution. My
project aims to combine the infant EEG system with diffuse optical imaging (DOI),
thereby improving cot-side monitoring of brain function. DOI is non-invasive and can
produce both topo- and tomographic images of regional cerebral blood flow. Combining
hemodynamic DOI measurements with electrical information from EEG makes it
possible to investigate cortical neurovascular coupling in a variety of circumstances,
including during seizures.
En route to increasing neonatal seizure detection ability, my lab also aims to study
resting state functional connectivity (RSFC) globally in cortex and functional activation
in sensory cortex using combined EEG and DOI in sleeping infants. Functional imaging
has the capability to quantify the health of cortical networks in infants that anatomical
imaging systems, such as MRI, might overlook. The ability to elucidate healthy and
pathological cortical activity with our system could help Neonatologists better estimate
future cognitive and motor deficits in premature and term-born infants.
To accomplish these goals we have developed a soft, flexible cap that holds 13
EEG electrodes and 32 DOI fibers. After assembling all the necessary parts of the dual
imaging system and obtaining ethics approval, we are currently in the process of scanning
healthy control subjects (GA 37-40 weeks). Once the efficacy of the imaging system can
be verified, we will move on to scanning specific age groups, ranging from extreme
premature infants (GA 23-28 weeks) to late premature infants (GA 34-37 weeks), as well
as infants at-risk for seizures.
MPhil Candidate, University of Cambridge, Churchill College, Cambridge CB3 0DS, United Kingdom,
Tel: +447717264999, Email: [email protected]
Consultant Neonatologist, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Box 402, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS
Foundation Trust, Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 0QQ, United Kingdom, +441223217677, Email:
[email protected]