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Diagnostic Methods Commission

Chair & Contact Information:

Dr. John Duncan
Secretary – The National Society for Epilepsy
Chalfont St. Peter, Gerrrards Cross
Buckinghamshire SL9 9RJ, UK
Phone: +44 1494 601341
Fax: 44+1494 876294

The membership is:
Chair: JS Duncan (London, UK )
Secretary: T Henry (Atlanta, USA)
R. Fisher (San Francisco, USA)
M. Jonesgotman (Montreal, Canada)
I. Mothersill (Zurich, Switzerland)
F. Lopes Da Silva (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Each member chairs a subcommission, as follows.

The complete membership of the subcommissions is not yet finalized. At the present time it, and the objectives are:

Chair: T Henry (USA)
Secretary: F. Cendes (Brazil)
Members: R. Bronen (USA)
J. Duncan (UK), C. Chiron (France)
W. Gaillard (USA)
R. Kuzniecky (USA)
I. Savic (Sweden)
P. Satishchandra (India)


  1. Recommendations on Neuroimaging of children with epilepsy.

  2. Recommendations on the standardization of imaging formats between Centers.

  3. Review of Current situation on Neuroimaging of animal models of epilepsy.

  4. Review of Current situation on Neuroimaging and the biology of the epilepsies including development and neuroprotection, plasticity and genetics.

  5. Imaging skills workshop at ILAE meeting in 2003.


Chair: R Fisher (USA)
Secretary: W Emde Boas (Netherlands)


1. Document on definitions of epilepsy and of seizures.


Chair: M Jonesgotman (Montreal, Canada)
Secretary: Mary Lou Smith (Ontario, Canada)


Gail Risse (Minnesota, USA)
Michael Westerveld (Connecticut, USA)
Susan Bookheimer (California, USA)
Sally Baxendale (London, UK)
Anna Rita Giovagnoli (Milan, Italy)
Tatia Lee (Hong Kong)
Michael Saling (Melbourne, Australia)
Dr.Jokheit (Switzerland)
Brazilian member to be named


  1. Recommendations on minimum standards for neuropsychological assessment prior to epilepsy surgery.

  2. Neuropsychology for epilepsy skills workshop at ILAE meeting in 2003.


Chair: I. Mothersill (Zurich, Switzerland)
Secretary: P. Hilfiker (Zurich, Switzerland)
T. Grunwald (Bonn, Germany)
A. Ebner (Bethel, Germany)
W. van Emde Boas (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
J. Alving (Denmark)
W. Blume (London, Canada)


  1. Dissemination of "Signs of Epileptic seizures CD"

  2. Production of Nonepileptic attacks CD

  3. Video-EEG interpretation skills workshop at ILAE meeting in 2003.


Chair: F Lopes Da Silva (Netherlands)
Secretary: G Battaglia (Italy)
Jean Gotman (Canada)
Brian Litt (USA)
Bernard Renault (France)
Klaus Lehnertz (Germany)
Dimitri Velis (Netherlands)
Sylvia Kochen (Argentina)


  1. Recommendations for Standardization of digital EEG format for intersite transmission.

  2. EEG skills workshop at ILAE meeting in 2003.


The Diagnostic Strategies Commission had a productive year. The Commission met in Prague at the International Epilepsy Meeting (fall 1999) and subcommissions met both in Prague and at the American Epilepsy Society Meetings in December 1999

Neuropsychology Subcommission
Dr Marilyn Jones-Gotman's subcommission offered a symposium, September 1999 in Prague, which focused on the intracarotid amobarbital procedure (IAP).

Topics addressed included the IAP and memory, the IAP and language and cerebral dominance, and the IAP in children. The symposium also considered the application of functional neuroimaging techniques for localization of eloquent cortex and for assessing memory. The conference faculty included Dr Savic-Berglund, Dr Piazzini, Dr Risse, Dr Westerveld, Dr Samson and Dr Jones-Gotman.

The subcommission will be offering a neuropsychology skills workshop in Buenos Aires 2001.

Neuroimaging Subcommission
The neuroimaging subcommission, chaired by Dr John Duncan, produced a consensus statement on the clinical use of functional imaging techniques.

This document is presented to the executive committee for approval, with plans to then proceed with publication in Epilepsia.

The subcommission is organizing a two day program, Imaging Skills Course, to be held in association with the 24th International Epilepsy Congress in Buenos Aires "Neuroimaging in Epilepsy: a practical course. The meeting will be sponsored as well by the Commission for Latin American Affairs with the goal to bridge the gap between developing and developed countries in skills necessary to perform up-to-date neuroimaging. Specific aims will be education in the implementation of new techniques. Dr Arthur Sonnen's subcommission on video classification of seizures has completed a CD ROM collection of seizures. Contracts are currently being drawn up with ILAR, HMR (the sponsors) and the production committee with the intent to begin distribution in 2000.

Pregnancy Registries
Dr Ettore Beghi chaired a workshop on pregnancy registries in Prague 1999. Representatives attended the meeting from the majority of established pregnancy registries. Mainly as a result of Dr Beghi's efforts, the workshop culminated in a document outlining the structure of a potential global pregnancy registry. This will be published in Epilepsia. A proposal is being put forth to the Executive committee to establish an ILAE/IBE sponsored global pregnancy registry.

Other activities of the Commission
Dr Lopes de Silva held a conference on pharmacoresistant epilepsy in Prague 1999. A manuscript is being developed from this symposium.

Drs Fischer and van Emde Boas have been preparing a document on the differential diagnosis of epilepsy. The plan is to present this material as a Commission sponsored course In May 2001.

Drs Fisher and Morrell, as well as Dr Susan Spencer have developed a document approved by the Epilepsy Foundation (America), American Epilepsy Society, and the Epilepsy Section of the American Academy of Neurology to define seizures and epilepsy, as well as diagnostic criteria for seizures.

These definitions will be useful for organizations and agencies setting epilepsy related policy. (The definitions established are being used by the United States Social Security Administration in order to re-evaluate the disability criteria for epilepsy). The definitions will be offered to the ILAE for review by other commissions with the intent of establishing a broad consensus.

Annual Report 2000 Table of Contents






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