New study sheds light on impact of epilepsy radiosurgery on memory

Posted Jul 31 2014 in Other treatments

A man looking pensive and concerned. Ref: www,dreamstime.com

New research from Germany has offered a fresh insight into the impact that stereotactic interstitial radiosurgery can have on memory in patients being treated for epilepsy due to hypothalamic hamartomas.

Resective surgical approaches show promise for people with this uncommon form of epilepsy, which is otherwise difficult to treat with medication. However, since hypothalamic hamartomas tend to be located near structures essential for memory functions, there can be risks attached.

Hypothalamic hamartomas are a rare form of benign brain tumour that tend to manifest in laughing seizures during infancy, before developing into more serious epileptic symptoms between the ages of four and ten.

For this new study, the team looked at cognitive outcomes among 26 patients with structural epilepsy due to hypothalamic hamartomas one year after interstitial radiosurgery. It was found that although deteriorations in declarative memory functions were fairly common, more than 80 per cent experienced stable or even improved performance in attentional functions.

It was also revealed that after radiosurgery, half of the patients experienced seizure reductions between 50 and 90 per cent, with hypothalamic hamartoma volumes significantly reduced.

The researchers concluded: “These results are highly relevant for therapeutic decisions and patient consultation on timing and choice of nonmedical treatment options for hypothalamic hamartomas.”

Posted by Anne Brown

Newsletter Signup

Enter your email address to receive monthly research updates

News categories