We know that the shape of the human face is influenced by genetic factors. Now our researchers are using 3D imaging, or three-dimensional stereophotogrammetry, to try to establish whether there is a link between face shape and genetic variations which can lead to epilepsy.
3D imaging is a sophisticated technique that can map the whole face or the feature-rich areas around the nose and eyes. Facial shape differences are subtle and barely detectable to the human eye. Also, the detected changes in facial shapes are as varied as the underlying genetic structural variations. There is no 'face' of epilepsy.
Epilepsy Society's Chalfont Centre is the only centre in the UK that undertakes 3D imaging for epilepsy. At the moment it is only used as a research tool but it is hoped that in the future, the ability to recognise and classify facial shape differences will be seen as an important tool in the diagnosis of epilepsy.
Research paper: Atypical face shape and genomic structural variants in epilepsy
Read how we are working to understand the genetic architecture of each individual person's epilepsy through our world leading genomics research programme.
Neuroimaging enables us to look deep inside the brain to learn more about the impact of seizures on its structure and function.
The Epilepsy Society Brain and Tissue Bank is the first of its kind in the UK. It is dedicated to the study of epilepsy through brain and other tissue samples.