Brain injury discovery at UCC

A TEAM of Irish researchers has developed a technology for investigating brain injury and seizures in newborn babies.

The EEG seizure detection technology was a collaboration between UCC’s Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and the School of Medicine and last night it won joint first prize at UCC’s inaugural Invention of the Year Awards.

According to Dr Gordon Lightbody, of UCC’s Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, most neonatal units in Europe lack the expertise to monitor electrical activity in the brains of newborns and have to rely on clinical judgment.

The incidence of seizures in babies born at full term is 1.5 to 3 per 1,000 births and rises to 50-150 per 1,000 live births in premature babies. Dr Geraldine Boylan, School of Medicine, UCC said early detection of seizures would mean effective treatment for vulnerable babies.

The other winner, a variable barrier transistor developed at the Tyndall National Institute at UCC, targets semiconductor device research.

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