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Epilepsy Surgery

Significant Variations in Epilepsy Surgical Strategy, Deficit Reporting Exist

There is significant variation in the use of diagnostic testing and resective strategies among major epilepsy surgery centers practicing surgical resection in epileptogenic zones (EZ) in close proximity to or in the eloquent cortex (EC), according to results of a survey administered on behalf of the International League Against Epilepsy and published in Epilepsia. Of the 40 survey respondents, 19 were from North America, 13 were from Europe, 3 were from Australia, 3 were from South America, and 2 were from Asia. Ultimately, 24 neurologists and 16 neurosurgeons responded. The survey comprised a total of 38 question categories that included 84 individual queries on the EZ, EC, plasticity, and resection strategies. The survey was designed to evaluate the weight assigned to diagnostic tests th...

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.

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).

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.

Epilepsy – why do seizures sometimes continue after surgery?

New research from the University of Liverpool, published in the journal Brain, has highlighted the potential reasons why many patients with severe epilepsy still continue to experience seizures even after surgery.

Surgery May Prolong Life in Some Children With Epilepsy

Epilepsy surgery adds several years to the life expectancy of children with refractory epilepsy who are deemed suitable surgical candidates, and it may improve their quality of life compared with continuing medical therapy only, a new study suggests. While there’s a growing consensus that surgery is sometimes an optimal choice in some pediatric patients, the new research actually quantifies the benefits, said lead researcher, Iván Sánchez Fernández, MD, an epilepsy fellow in the Division of Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology, Boston Children’s Hospital, Massachusetts. “Our model quantifies how this translates in terms of life expectancy, and the quantification shows that epilepsy surgery provides, in general, approximately 5 years of extra life expectancy when compared...

Support For Woman’s Epilepsy Surgery Goes Viral

A Knoxville man is trying to convince his little sister to have a surgery that could change her life. We introduced you to Brittany Ball earlier this year. She has a severe form of epilepsy that causes multiple seizures each day, despite her medication. Brittany has always been close to her older brother Jason Branam. “I want her to have a normal life. I want her to see more of her friends. I want her to be able to hang out like I got to,” Jason said. Brittany’s epilepsy is hard to control and her seizures are hard to predict. “It’s just a roller coaster of medicine,” she said. Her brother and mother want her to try another option – brain surgery. “There’s a lot of risk. It’s very dangerous,” said Donna Ball. That’s wh...

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