People With Epilepsy Can Benefit From Smartphone Apps To Manage Their Condition

Study published in the International Journal of Epilepsy wins Elsevier’s Atlas award

Amsterdam, July 1, 2015

While many people with epilepsy can control their seizures with medication, those unpredictable and involuntary changes in behavior and consciousness can be limiting for others. Neurologists writing in the International Journal of Epilepsy evaluated the application of smartphones in epilepsy care.

The paper by Lakshmi Narasimhan Ranganathan and colleagues at the Madras Medical College Institute of Neurology in India has been selected for an Elsevier Atlas Award.

Ranganathan’s team evaluated the mobile applications available for the everyday care of patients with epilepsy. Those apps include seizure diaries as well as medication trackers with reminders to take the next dose of medication. In addition, apps are available to answer any questions patients with epilepsy might have, to detect potential drug interactions and to detect seizures. The latter type of apps senses the irregular motions characteristic of an epileptic seizure and automatically set off an alarm to alert caregivers and doctors.

“Almost all smartphones have a built-in GPS,” Ranganathan said. “They have motion detectors and/or accelerometers. All of those gadgets, if properly integrated into a program, support epilepsy management.”

Ranganathan is already encouraging his patients to take advantage of these technologies. He predicts smartphones will be capable of much more. Already, researchers have shown it is possible to monitor electrical activity in the brain with a headset that sends the electroencephalography (EEG) signal directly to a smartphone. Continuous EEG monitoring could detect the spikes in activity that typically precedes seizures, to alert patients in advance.

The authors say that special sensors integrated into smartphones might allow continuous drug monitoring too. Rather than taking anti-epileptic drugs continuously and suffering from their cognitive side effects, people might take those drugs only when a seizure is coming on.

With almost one percent of people below the age of 20 and three percent of the total population suffering from epilepsy, and 30 percent of those patients refractory to medication, the development and adoption of these apps is of indisputable benefit.

Read the story on Atlas:


Notes for Editors:
The article is “Application of mobile phones in epilepsy care” by Lakshmi Narasimhan Ranganathan, Somasundaram Aadhimoolam Chinnadurai, Balasubramanian Samivel, Bhanu Kesavamurthy, Man Mohan Mehndirata.

The article appears as an “Article in Press” in International Journal of Epilepsy, published by Elsevier.


The article is made freely available on ScienceDirect.

Journalists who would like more information or want to interview the authors are welcome to contact: 

About International Journal of Epilepsy
International Journal of Epilepsy (IJEP) is an international peer-reviewed journal of epilepsy and is published by Elsevier on behalf of the Indian Epilepsy Society.

About Atlas, Research for a better world
Science impacts everyone's world. With over 1,800 journals publishing articles from across science, technology and health, our mission is to share some of the stories that matter. Each month Elsevier’s Atlas will showcase research that can (or already has) significantly impact(ed) people's lives around the world and we hope that bringing wider attention to this research will go some way to ensuring its successful implementation.

With so many worthy articles published the tough job of selecting a single article to be awarded "The Atlas" each month comes down to an Advisory Board. The winning research is presented alongside interviews, expert opinions, multimedia and much more on the Atlas website:

About Elsevier
Elsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health, and technology professionals, empowering them to make better decisions, deliver better care, and sometimes make groundbreaking discoveries that advance the boundaries of knowledge and human progress. Elsevier provides web-based, digital solutions — among them ScienceDirect, Scopus, Research Intelligence and ClinicalKey— and publishes over 2,500 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and more than 35,000 book titles, including a number of iconic reference works. Elsevier is part of RELX Group, a world-leading provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries.

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