Epilepsy and brain surgery

Language Development After Epilepsy Surgery in Children: Final Report

This is the final report for a 2011 project grant for £99,805 awarded to Dr Torsten Baldeweg, Dr Frederique Liegeois, Professor Helen Cross, Dr Peter Rankin, and Professor Faraneh Vargha-Khadem at the Institute of Child Health, University College London.  Approximately one third of children with epilepsy do not respond to treatment with medication, and a proportion of these children may be considered for read more

What’s new and exciting in epilepsy research?

We asked Dr Robert Wykes, a translational medicine scientist for his personal perspective.  Here is his response: Despite decades of new anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) reaching market, the problem of drug refractory epilepsy remains. 25-30% of patients do not respond appropriately to AEDs. However in recent years advances in technology and non-pharmacological approaches are beginning to address this clinical need. We read more

Improving epilepsy care through brain modelling

Researchers from France are trialling the use of brain modelling to improve epilepsy care in a large clinical study. In planning surgery, scientists create personalised brain models of patients and simulate the spread of abnormal activity during epileptic seizures. Earlier studies showed promising results for this approach which is now providing the basis for a large scale trial in a read more

Brain surgery: predicting patient outcomes

Artificial Intelligence is increasingly being used to make real inroads in the medical field.  Now neurologists from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) have used artificial intelligence to develop a technique which may eventually help both patients and doctors weigh up the pros and cons of using brain surgery to treat debilitating seizures caused by epilepsy. Although the number read more

Genetic epilepsies respond to epilepsy surgery in different ways

Technological advances in recent years mean that it is now easier, and considerably cheaper, to test people with epilepsy for underlying genetic causes. As a result of this, scientists have been able to uncover new genetic abnormalities linked to epilepsy. If scientists can understand the causes of a person’s epilepsy, they may be able to provide improved epilepsy treatments. This read more

Implant in brain detects, stops and prevents seizures

Researchers led by the University of Cambridge have successfully used an implanted device in the brain to detect, stop and prevent epileptic seizures in an animal model. When the first signals of a seizure were detected, the device delivered a naturally occurring brain chemical (a neurotransmitter) which stopped the seizure from progressing. There are many different types of epileptic seizure read more

Success for less invasive surgery for refractory epilepsy

Posted 4 Sep 2018 in Epilepsy and brain surgery

In a first for Europe surgeons at Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) have successfully treated an epilepsy patient using a high precision thermal (laser) therapy.  The treatment is only suitable for those people with refractory epilepsy where the focus of the seizure can be precisely targeted.  This technique means that surgery is much less invasive, leading to a shorter period of read more

Partnership between two specific proteins plays a key role in regulating the brain’s activity

Epilepsy is characterised by seizures caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Mapping the patterns of neuronal activity in the brain and understanding the dynamic between nerve cells could lead to better treatments for epilepsy. Researchers from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, working with a team of international scientists investigated how brain proteins interact to regulate the electrical read more

What is consciousness? Epilepsy patients being assessed for surgery bring us a step closer to understanding

Epilepsy patients being assessed for possible surgery have electrodes implanted in the brain in order to try to locate the precise area of the brain responsible for causing their seizures.  This provided an opportunity for researchers to discover more about ‘consciousness’.  Using the implanted electrodes, scientists were able to monitor the activity of individual neurons in the brain giving us read more

Does epilepsy surgery offer long term benefits?

Although epilepsy surgery has been used to treat epilepsy that does not respond to medication for many years now, little is known about its long term success. Now researchers in the UK have looked at the improvement rates long term. Antiepileptic medication helps approximately 70% of people diagnosed with epilepsy but ‘hard to treat’ or intractable epilepsy affects the remaining read more

Where to place electrodes in advance of brain surgery?

Brain surgery is clearly an extremely difficult and precise procedure.  In advance of surgery for patients with intractable epilepsy doctors have to decide where to plant the electrodes so that they can precisely identify the part of the brain where the seizures originate.  The information gathered from these probes can then be used to remove or destroy the area in read more

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