Conducted by the ARCEM (Italian Association for the Research on Brain & Spinal Cord Diseases) in collaboration with the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research, Milan, Italy, the study analyzed how musical patterns can be linked to data taken from a patient's EEG recordings.
High Data VolumeDuring the study, long sequences of data were made and examined using different sets of parameters and high quality audio and animation files produced for each EEG data sequence.
The large volume of data is dependent on many computers combining their processing power by accessing the bandwidth of the super-fast pan-European GEANT network, as well as its National Research and Education Network (NREN) partners to access, save, and move it.
Massimo Rizzi, from the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research and ARCEM says:
"Using the GÉANT network we are able to seamlessly transport data to and from scientists all over Europe, enabling a level of collaboration to facilitate medical innovation and scientific research that could have direct implications for the 50 million people worldwide suffering from epilepsy."
The new method of combining data sonification with repeating quantification examination is expected to have better outcomes and more data in comparison to the current ways for studying epilepsy. These outcomes could pave the way for new research regarding therapeutic interventions.
Sonification ToolThe sonification tool is used to pinpoint a starting marker indicating certain EEG states. The recognition of this marker could help emphasize and show the symptoms of temporal patterns located in the EEGs of epileptic patients - therefore identifying a possible seizure before it happens.
The new tool could be a groundbreaking method in seizure prevention, enhancing the quality of life for millions of people who have to live withone of the most common and severe neurological conditions.
Data sonification is the act of altering numerical data into sound signals. Like making a graph, however, the melody components are tones and notes, not points and lines.
The human ear naturally picks up on patterns and can recognize abnormalities. For example, looking at a graph for a certain value may be hard, but hearing a wrong note in a song is possible even without musical training.
Grid ComputingSonification is an important tool that is often used in many areas of science and in applications, such as monitoring and surveillance. It is capable of computing large amounts of data that need the power of supercomputers.
This study used the European Grid Infrastructure (EGI), a collection of computers grouped together and connected to each other through high-performance network links.
High-Speed Networks Move Research ForwardIn recent years, scientific investigators have depended on physically moving data cassette tapes for examination. Because of GEANT, high-speed research and its partners, this data can now be passed in real time between researchers and scientists who are located in different areas of the world.
A separate study last year conducted by Massachusetts General Hospital and Brown University, revealed that seizures begin with very diverse neuronal activity, contrary to the traditional view that they start with massive synchronized activity.