Brain surgery in epilepsy
MANY people can keep epilepsy in check by
taking medication, but others have seizures
that drugs can't control. Might surgery to
remove the area of the brain causing the
seizures help people with intractable epilepsy?
A study involved 399 people who had epilepsy surgery after having had
seizures for an average of 20 years. Six months after surgery, 81% of the
participants were seizure-free or nearly so; after 10 years, 72% rarely if
ever had seizures. People aged 18 to 40 had better results than other
people. Those whose surgery involved the temporal lobe fared better than
those who had surgery on other regions of the brain.
Who may be affected by these findings? People with epilepsy. The authors
report that as many as 40% of epileptics have seizures that cannot be
controlled solely by medication.
Caveats: Not all people with epilepsy are good candidates for surgery.
Results may vary depending on the expertise of the surgeon.