The BEST Conceivable Way to Talk About Epilepsy Biomarkers

Stephen V. Gliske, William C. Stacey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The search for valid biomarkers to aid in epilepsy diagnosis and management is a major goal of the Epilepsy Research Benchmarks. Many papers and grants answer this call by searching for new biomarkers from a wide range of disciplines. However, the academic use of the word “biomarker” is often imprecise. Without proper definition, such work is not well-prepared to progress to the next step of translating these biomarkers into clinical use. In 2016, the Food and Drug Administration and National Institutes of Health collaborated to develop the BEST (Biomarkers, EndpointS, and other Tools) Resource as a guide to adopt formal definitions that aid in pushing successful biomarkers toward regulatory approval. Using the vignette of high-frequency oscillations, which have been proposed as a potential biomarker of several potential aspects of epilepsy, we demonstrate how improper use of the term “biomarker,” and lack of a clear context of use, can lead to confusion and difficulty obtaining regulatory approval. Similar conditions are likely in many areas of biomarker research. This Resource should be adopted by all researchers developing epilepsy biomarkers. Adopting the BEST guidelines will improve reproducibility, guide research objectives toward translation, and better target the Epilepsy Benchmarks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-178
Number of pages4
JournalEpilepsy Currents
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2023


  • Biomarker
  • FDA
  • High Frequency Oscillations
  • NIH

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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