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Neurosurgeon runs marathon whilst monitoring his brain activity

Dutch neurosurgeon Kuan Kho, 42, has run the 50th edition of the Enschede marathon on 22 April in Enschede for research he is currently working on. The pioneering research uses electrodes to observe brain activity which monitors the onset of epileptic seizures.

Kho has been the first person to run a marathon whilst his EEG was continuously being monitored. The rhythm and waves of the brain were measured with 23 electrodes, as part of important research into epilepsy. Previously there has been technical research with motion sensors on muscle activation and breathing, but never before with an EEG as being done with the Mobita EEG system.

Three employees from TMSi, the creators of the equipment, ran alongside Kho of which one was wearing a new technology created with a German partner. Instead of visible electrodes all over the head like Kho, he was wearing a discreet grid behind the ear. If it works, it will be another opportunity to advance towards daily EEG monitoring of patients who suffer from epilepsy. Research gathered during the marathon run is intended as proof of concept of the technology.

Kho reveals, “It will be immensely interesting to see how the signals appear and whether it is even technically possible to measure brain activity during extreme conditions of a long-endurance marathon race. I hope to see if it possible to measure cognitive and other neuropsychological and neurophysiological effects”.

Prof Dr Ir MJAM van Putten announces, “My colleague Kuan Kho, neurosurgeon in our hospital MST Enschede, finished the 50th marathon of Enschede while his EEG was continuously recorded with a TMSi mobile system. The recordings may contribute to a better understanding of ‘brain rhythms during stress’. We hope this may also contribute to our research on mechanisms involved in stress related seizures in epilepsy”. The possibility to monitor, or even predict, epileptic seizures will be a huge advancement in scientific research. It would be incredible to be able to use this research to improve the lives of epileptic patients throughout the world.

- TC Tubantia (local newspaper, Dutch) 

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