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In Canada, Epilepsy affects approximately 3 to 6 children per 1000 aged from 0 to 15 years in the overall population. Fifteen to 25% of these children have benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BECTS), making BECTS the most common benign childhood focal epileptic syndrome. Studies have found cognitive and behavioral deficits, which may well persist even after remission. Given neurocognitive differences among children with BECTS and normal controls, subtle morphometric variations in brain structures are also present in these patients. In this respect, proposing advanced neuroimaging methods, which would allow for quantitative assessment of variations in brain morphology could lead to accurate detection of the pathology. In this research project, we aim to automatically detect the neuroanatomic variations related to BECTS in children by segmenting sub-cortical structures and analyzing these structures for morphological differences. This project will develop, an MRI pediatric brain atlas to accurately segment structures in the basal ganglia. From a clinical perspective, the proposed method can contribute to the diagnosis of BECTS in children, and use as a complementary technique to EEG for identifying epilepsy.
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