When 29-year-old Krystle Thrasher was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2011, she often had 10 to 15 seizures a month despite taking medication to help control her seizure activity.
“After a seizure, I would be tired and just want to go to bed,” said Thrasher, a paralegal who lives in Sunrise with her husband and 9-month-old son.
Epilepsy, the fourth most common neurological disorder, is defined by recurrent and unprovoked seizures. Seizure frequency varies depending on the type of seizure disorder, with some patients experiencing several seizures daily while others don’t have seizures for years at a time.
There are two principal types of seizure disorders. One, known as focal epilepsy, originates in a defined area of the brain. The second, generalized epilepsy, are seizures involving the entire brain, said Dr. Andres Kanner, professor of clinical neurology, chief of the epilepsy division and director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at UHealth-University of Miami Health System.
Seizure signs and symptoms may include temporary confusion, a staring spell and uncontrollable jerking movements of the arms and legs with loss of consciousness.
For treatment, the intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging creates images of the brain during surgery. Neurosurgeons rely on the technology to create accurate pictures of the brain that guide them in removing brain tumors and other abnormalities during surgery.
The intraoperative MRI can help to treat patients with brain tumors, epilepsy or cognitive brain malfunction, said Dr. John Ragheb, chief neurosurgeon at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, which will have the intraoperative MRI in its advanced care pavilion expected to open this fall.
“The MRI is in the operating room,” Ragheb said. “It improves the effectiveness and thoroughness of the surgery and improves the health of the patient. It also helps us confirm the completeness of the surgery before the patient leaves the operating room.”
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