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Diagnostic Methods

International League Against Epilepsy

Commission Report Form

Commission/Officer Name: Diagnostic Methods
Date: 31 12 2002
Report By: John S Duncan

Commission Members

John Duncan (Chair), Tom Henry (Secretary), Robert Fisher, Ian Mothersill, Fernando Lopes da Silva, Marilyn Jonesgotman

The DMC has subcommissions, as follows:
Neuroimaging (Chair: Tom Henry).
Definitions of epilepsy (Chair: Robert Fisher)
Video description of Seizures (Chair: IanMothersill)
Neurophysiology (Chair: Fernando Lopes da Silva)
Neuropsychology (Chair: Marilyn Jonesgotman )
Each subcommission has agreed objectives to pursue over the next 3 years, in the form of producing guidelines and consensus statements that relate to their areas of expertise, and the organization of teaching skills workshops, in order to disseminate best practice.
Three one-day skills workshops are scheduled for the 25th IEC in Tunis in October 2003, covering Neuroimaging, Neuropsychology and Neurophysiology. Planning of these workshops is at an advanced stage, course material is being prepared for the delegates and external sponsorship is being sought.

Subcommission reports


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)

Neuroimaging Subcommission Objectives

  1. Recommendations on neuroimaging of children with epilepsy.
  2. Recommendations on the standardization of imaging formats between centers.
  3. Review of the current situation on neuroimaging in animal models of epilepsy.
  4. Review of the current situation on neuroimaging and the biology of the epilepsies including development, neuroprotection, plasticity and genetics.
  5. Planning and presentation of the Imaging Skills Workshop at the International Epilepsy Congress in 2003.

Progress towards Objectives

The greatest progress has been made in the fifth objective. Although considerable time was expended on a debate of the appropriateness of the Congress venue with respect to the safety of all ILAE members, ultimately the majority of Subcommission members agreed to participate.

Drs. Chiron and Gaillard agreed to take on the first objective. They are preparing a draft of recommendations.

Subcommission members agreed that it would be desirable to recruit other participants, probably basic scientists who are not active in the ILAE, to assist us in the third and fourth objectives.

Most of the Subcommission members consider the second objective problematic, owing to the principal role that neuroradiologists hold in determination of imaging formats, and the considerable independence of various national and center-specific organizations in technical aspects of imaging.


Chair: R Fisher (USA)
Secretary: W Emde Boas (Netherlands)
Warren Blume (London, Canada)
Christian Elger (Bonn, Germany)
Pierre Jallon (Lausanne, Switzerland)
Pierre Bill (Durban, South Africa)
Sucheta Joshi (Bombay/USA)
Pierre Genton (Centre St Paul, Marseilles, France)


Document on definitions of epilepsy and of seizures.

Progress towards Objectives
Dr Fisher and colleagues have developed a detailed draft of this Subcommission’s position statement. The plan is to prepare the document as a position paper, with review by the DMC and ILAE Executive Committee, followed by submission to Epilepsia within one year.


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)


  1. Recommendations on minimum standards for neuropsychological assessment prior to epilepsy surgery.
  2.  Neuropsychology for epilepsy skills workshop at ILAE meeting in 2003.

Progress towards Objectives

Members of this Subcommission met as a group in Seattle on 8 December 2002. The Neuropsychology Workshop in Tunis has been prepared.

The subcommission has also discussed reviewing and possibly preparing position papers on difficult areas in their field. Two such areas are the methods and applications of intracarotid amobarbital procedures, and identification of reliable procedures for localizing cerebral sites of cognition in the epilepsies.


Chair: I Mothersill (Zurich, Switzerland)
Secretary: P Hilfiker (Zurich, Switzerland)
Members: 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

Progress towards Objectives:

In December 2002, Dr Mothersill indicated completion of a full set of video examples of epileptic ictal semiology, and initial preparation of video examples of non-epileptic semiology. Dr Mothersill is seeking funding for dissemination of a CD containing these video files, and has approached Nihon Kohden for support.


Chair: F Lopes Da Silva (Netherlands)
Secretary: G Battaglia (Italy)
Members: 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. Neurophysiology skills workshop at ILAE Tunis, October 2003 meeting.

Progress towards Objectives

A Neurophysiology skills workshop for Tunis in October 2003 had been designed.

John S Duncan
December 2002

Annual Report 2002 Table of Contents




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