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Surgery

Can epilepsy surgery offer more than a short-term solution?

Little has been known about the long-term success of epilepsy surgery, even though surgeons have performed the surgery for decades. In a recent study, researchers sought to determine whether epilepsy surgery would provide long-term improvements.   Epilepsy affects the brain and causes seizures, which can occur in many different ways. Seizures can range from a few seconds of being confused to a complete lack of awareness of what is going on. People who suffer from epilepsy can be treated with medicine; however, in approximately 30% of people, the medicine does not stop the seizures. Individuals with epilepsy tend to have epilepsy surgery as relatively young adults in hopes of many years of a better quality of life ahead of them.

Specialized test at QEII allows doctors to better plan for epilepsy surgery

A specialized test for epilepsy patients is allowing doctors to better plan for epilepsy surgery, while avoiding catastrophic effects on speech and memory.   “It involves using an anesthetic called etomidate to put one half of the brain to sleep at a time while testing the language and memory abilities in the opposite hemisphere,” explains neuropsychologist Antonina Omisade.   Omisade says there are two main goals to the etomidate speech and memory test – or ESAM for short.

Who’s This? -Can’t Recall A Famous Person’s Name? Blame Your Left Brain

The study – led by University of Manchester psychologists – is the first of its kind to assess the similarities and differences in how the left and right sides of the brain process semantic memory. The research, led by Dr Grace Rice and Professor Matthew Lambon Ralph from The University of Manchester, was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Medical Research Council. The team – working with neuropsychologists at Salford Royal and The Walton Centre for neurology in Liverpool – worked with 41 patients who had part of their brains removed to treat their long-standing epilepsy.

Presurgical imaging may predict whether epilepsy surgery will work

Rice University statisticians show integrative analysis can predict risk of postoperative seizures   Surgery to remove a part of the brain to give relief to patients with epilepsy doesn’t always result in complete seizure relief, but statisticians at Rice University have developed a method for integrating neuroimaging scans to identify patients at high risk of continued seizures before the surgery takes place.

Surgery Decreases Seizures, Increases QOL in Children with Epilepsy

Drug-resistant children and adolescents that undergo epilepsy surgery have a significantly higher rate of seizure-free periods and better quality of life compared to those who simply continue medical therapy, according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.  Manjari Tripathi, MD, DM   Researchers led by Manjari Tripathi, MD, DM, professor of neurology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, examined how neurosurgical treatment affected seizure rates in 116 children and adolescents with epilepsy. In total, 77% (n = 44) of patients that received the surgery were free from seizures, compared to 7% (n = 4) in the medication group (P <.001).

First test of anti-epilepsy surgeries in children shows dramatic benefit

Brain surgery for children whose epilepsy is resistant to drug therapy can produce a 10-fold increase in the odds of being seizure-free after one year and can do it without affecting IQ, according to a new Indian study of 116 patients in The New England Journal of Medicine   Seventy-seven percent of the children were free of seizures at one year after the surgery, compared with seven percent in a control group of youngsters who received medical therapy alone while waiting for surgery. Behavior and quality of life also improved.

Medial temporal lobe surgery linked to prevalence of tinnitus (ringing in the ears)

Patients with epilepsy undergoing medial temporal lobe (MTL) surgery have increased prevalence of tinnitus (ringing in the ears) compared with controls and participants with self-reported epilepsy (SRE), according to a research letter published online Oct. 9 in JAMA Neurology.   Sébastien Paquette, Ph.D., from the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris in France, and colleagues examined the risk of tinnitus across 166 surgical patients who had undergone unilateral MTL resection encroaching on the amygdala for the relief of medically intractable epilepsy, 332 age- and sex-matched controls, and 332 participants with SRE.

This musician strummed a guitar during his own brain surgery

Guitar players can strum almost anywhere, from a beach to a park bench to an operating room — while undergoing brain surgery. That’s where Abhishek Prasad peddled his musical wares during a four-hour surgery in India that aimed to correct cramping in his fingers, his surgeon said.

Potential Surgery Treatment for Certain Epilepsy Patients, Review Says

A technique called MRI-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy (MgLiTT) may be a potential treatment for epilepsy patients, according to a recent review. Researchers say that MgLiTT may be a particularly viable option for patients whose seizures are caused by tumor-like bodies affecting the hypothalamus, which are difficult to treat with traditional surgery.

Surgery in Older Patients with Drug-resistant Focal Epilepsy Still Effective, Study Finds

Researchers studied the medical records of patients with drug-resistant focal epilepsy who underwent surgery for the disorder at the age of 50 or older and found that the treatment was as effective as it was for patients younger than 50. However, there was a higher risk of complications from the procedure.

Stereo EEG provides a deep, detailed map of the brain as physicians evaluate patients for the surgical treatment of epilepsy.

For patients that find their seizures difficult to manage on medications, other treatment options such as diet, devices or surgery may be beneficial. Dr. Amy Crepeau, neurologist at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, discusses the evaluation of patients with epilepsy using brain mapping technology.

Studies of epilepsy patients uncover clues to how the brain remembers

In a pair of studies, scientists at the National Institutes of Health explored how the human brain stores and retrieves memories. One study suggests that the brain etches each memory into unique firing patterns of individual neurons. Meanwhile, the second study The studies were led by Kareem Zaghloul, M.D., Ph.D., a neurosurgeon-researcher at the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Persons with drug resistant epilepsy in protocols studying surgical resection of their seizure focus at the NIH’s Clinical Center enrolled in this study. To help locate the source of the seizures, Dr. Zaghloul’s team surgically implanted a grid of electrodes into the patients’ brains and monitored electrical activity for several days.