(c) Telecom Bretagne

The facts & the project

Even designing innovative mathematical methods and algorithms for modelling electromagnetic phenomena and electrical propagation in complex systems can have extremely concrete applications. This was the case with the work carried out by Francesco Andriulli and his team (Telecom Bretagne) which opened highly promising prospects within the health field, specifically for diagnosing epilepsy.

During an epilepsy seizure, the neurones suddenly produce an abnormal electrical discharge, either in a limited area (partial or focal seizure) or in the whole of the brain (generalised seizure). With focal epilepsy, the challenge is to pinpoint the “electrical source” at the origin of the seizure. This is particularly important when patients are resistant to conventional treatments and a surgical option has become necessary.

The results

With an allocation of 100,000 hours on GENCI’s Curie supercomputer at TGCC, the researchers from Telecom Bretagne used high resolution models, capable of processing very large scale issues, including - as with the brain - several billion elements, with the aim of developing a new generation of electroencephalograms for real time diagnostics and with the level of accuracy needed to be the starting point of a focal epilepsy seizure, for the best possible preparation of the surgery.

This is only possible with high performance computing. The important challenges here are of both a scientific and medical nature.