Neurosurgery Can End Epilepsy SeizuresPosted by in Neurosurgery
A new study published in October 2011 in The Lancet shows that neurosurgery for epilepsy can mean the end of seizures. Follow-ups with more than 5,000 patients were conducted over a period of 19 years. Six hundred fifteen of the patients (both men and women) had surgery for epilepsy at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery at some point from 1990 to 2008. Most patients had follow-ups for at least eight years.
The researchers in London, England are unaware of any other study that has included such a large number of patients over such a long period of time.
Detailed Results of the Neurosurgery Study
The majority of the patients studied had suffered from epilepsy for more than 20 years. The researchers believe that surgery should be performed earlier for those patients who have had seizures for two years without attaining relief from two or three medications.
The surgeries performed in the study included a variety of resections and other procedures. Just under two-thirds of the patients had suffered no seizures at the two-year point following their neurosurgery. Approximately 50 percent of the total patients were still free of seizures five years and ten years after their surgery.
An even higher percentage of the patients suffered only partial seizures. The patients who suffered partial seizures were more likely to have full seizures later, however. None of the patients in the study experienced worse symptoms after their surgery, although there were a few instances of post-surgical complications such as wound infections and fluid leaks.
The neurosurgeons concluded that such patients might benefit from post-surgical drug therapy, although most of the patients who did not have post-surgical seizures continued taking antiepileptic drugs.
The study data concluded that an anterior temporal resection had been performed on the majority of patients who were free of seizures long-term. Other brain resections were not as successful.
What is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that is sometimes called “seizure disorder.” The seizures occur when the electrical signals within the brain surge. Not all seizures involve convulsions. In some people, the seizures are characterized by blank expressions.
Additionally, not all seizures lead to an epilepsy diagnosis, although if someone has more than one seizure that was not brought on by a known cause, the individual probably has epilepsy. Medications have traditionally been prescribed to attempt to control the seizures, which can be dangerous if the individual is operating a car or machinery or involved in swimming or diving at the time the seizure takes place.
Facilities that offer neurosurgery in New Jersey and other parts of the country can assess whether you are a candidate for the techniques discussed in this article.
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