Study finds seizures cease for more than 15 years following resective surgery

Neurologists at Henry Ford Hospital have discovered that for the most severe forms of epilepsy, brain surgery can significantly reduce or eradicate seizures for more than 15 years.

Up to this point, the odds of controlling epilepsy were not sterling. Medications were reported to control seizures for only 30 patients out of every 100. If the patient wills it so, the next course of action entails going under the knife — submitting to resective surgery, a procedure the current report labels as relatively successful.

"Our study shows that a significant number of patients achieve favorable seizure outcomes (73 percent) or seizure freedom (28 percent) after resective epilepsy surgery," said Vibhangini S. Wasade, MD, lead author of the study and an epilepsy specialist at the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at Henry Ford Hospital, in a news release.

"It demonstrates that the seizure outcomes remain stable over more than 15 years post surgery, irrespective of the pathology or the side of resection," Wasade added.

In an effort to unearth whether or not surgical benefits lasted beyond the typical two to five year post-operative stage, the study team employed the records and experiences of 470 patients who had received surgical treatment for refractory localization-related epilepsy between the years 1993 and 2011. Researchers were diligent in assigning and identifying patient demographics, age at epilepsy onset and age when surgery was received, pathology as well as the antiepileptic drug intact before and after surgical measures were completed. All such information was obtained by the analysis team via electronic medical record access.

Consistent telephone correspondence with patients following their surgery was implemented to discern seizure frequency. Researchers were quick to clarify that the psychological effects of the surgery had yet to be investigated and that such delving would be necessary going forward if the medical community wished to determine overall post-surgical results.

The study was shared at this month’s American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting in San Diego.

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