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Study Tests Efficacy of New EEG Electrode on Differing Hair Types

June 6, 2021

Director of Epilepsy Services at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Christina M. Patterson, MD, is the primary investigator of a study that is testing the efficacy of a new electroencephalography system that may be more effective in registering high-quality signals from individuals with coarse and curly hair types. The new system, called Sevo, was developed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and Precision Neuroscopics in Pittsburgh.

Collaborating with Dr. Patterson on the study from CMU is Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Pulkit Grover, PhD (left), and from Precision Neuroscopics, CEO Shawn K. Kelly (middle), and Director of Accessibility, Arnelle Etienne (right).

Pulkit Grover, PhDShawn KellyArnelle Etienne

Some types of hair, primarily very coarse or curly varieties, can affect the ability of EEG electrodes placed on the scalp during epilepsy screening in obtaining optimal signal quality.

The new system being tested uses a novel type of electrode with an integral clip that enables the device to realize and maintain better contact with the patient's scalp.

The study will test the new electrodes on a wide variety of hair types to compare the EEG signal quality derived from patients with coarse and curly hair against other types. 

“Our goal is to enroll 200 subjects in the trial, and we are actively recruiting children and young adults from the ages of 2 to 26 years who are visiting the Epilepsy Center for screening at UPMC Children’s,” says Dr. Patterson. “If we can achieve optimal EEG signal quality across a spectrum of patients with varying hair types, this study and the device will be a step toward reducing the diagnostic disparities in epilepsy for patients because of their hair type.

For Referring Physicians

To refer a patient to the study, or for more information about the study protocol, email Dr. Patterson at and reference the Sevo Electrode Study.

More About Dr. Patterson

Christina Patterson, MDChristina Patterson, MD, is the director of Epilepsy Services at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. An associate professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Pediatric Neurology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Dr. Patterson also directs the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) at UPMC Children’s and serves as the medical director of the Pediatric Epilepsy Surgery Program. Her research interests are focused on pediatric epilepsy and epilepsy surgery, clinical neurophysiology, and electroencephalography.