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PET scans evaluate cognitive dysfunction in childhood epilepsy: Study

Positron emission tomography (PET) scans can be used to evaluate cognitive dysfunction of fever-induced epilepsy in children, its evolution and further prognosis, according to a study published in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

Fever-induced refractory epileptic encephalopathy in school-age children (FIRES) is a condition in which previously healthy children develop severe cognitive dysfunction after experiencing acute seizures.

For the study, researchers evaluated eight patients with diagnosed with FIRES, who were given a neuropsychologic evaluation, a brain MRI and an 18F-FDG PET scan.

The researchers found that the MRI tests revealed no abnormalities for the patients, while PET scans demonstrated significant cognitive impairment.

Study author, Catherine Chiron said the findings may open the way for using 18F-FDG PET more extensively and more accurately in paediatric imaging.

"This methodology allows us to investigate not only unilateral but also bilateral diseases, and to interpret PET images in an objective and sensitive manner," Chiron added.