Navigation Links
UCSF study highlights success of brain surgery for severe epilepsy
Date:7/21/2011

Two-thirds of people with severe and otherwise untreatable epilepsy were completely cured of their frequent seizures after undergoing neurosurgery at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, according to a new study that examined 143 of these patients two years after their operations.

The new study not only shows the promise of this type of neurosurgery at treating severe epilepsy, it also highlights how research into brain imaging may help to further improve results for people who have such operations.

"Surgery can be a powerful way to stop this disorder in its tracks," said UCSF Neurosurgeon Edward Chang, who led study, which is published this week in the journal Annals of Neurology. "Many of these people were living 10, 15 or 20 years with very severe and dangerous seizures."

The success of the surgery, added Chang, was directly related to the accuracy with which the medical team could map the brain, identify the exact pieces of tissue responsible for an individual's seizures and ultimately remove them.

"We need to continue to focus on developing new methods to figure out and pinpoint where the seizures are coming from," said Chang.

Surgery for the Worst Cases

Epilepsy has been known as a disease since ancient times. Hippocrates, the father of western medicine, described it in detail in his writings some 2,500 years ago, and it is believed to have afflicted many famous people throughout history, including Julius Caesar. About two million people in the United States suffer from the disease today, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization estimates that some 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy, a name that means "seizures" in Greek.

While seizures are common to a number of other conditions, including head injuries, infections, exposure to toxins, sleep deprivation and stroke, people with epilepsy suffer recurrent seizures. Those seizures basically result from spontaneous instabilities in the brain's neurons that can lead to symptoms ranging from slight muscle twitches to severe convulsions and loss of consciousness, depending on which parts of the brain are involved.

For many people with epilepsy, seizures are triggered by physical malformations in their brains that formed during early development. Powerful anticonvulsant drugs help many of them overcome their seizures, but a subset of people with epilepsy do not respond to the drugs. Some suffer only the occasional seizure, but others with more severe cases of epilepsy may suffer from dozens of seizures daily.

For those with such severe, untreatable epilepsy, brain surgery can be the last and best hope, aiming to remove the problematic pieces of brain tissue which may be as small as an acorn or as large as half the brain.

As the new study has highlighted, when the surgery works it can completely cure the seizures overnight. But a challenge remains because many malformations that cause the seizures are invisible to most forms of imaging.

UCSF Medical Center is one of just a few facilities in the country that is a world leader in brain imaging, epilepsy neurology and neurosurgery, and as a result, is one of the biggest epilepsy surgery programs in the United States. The latest study was part of a larger project at UCSF that is seeking to understand the different classes of malformations in the brain that lead to seizures and why certain people respond to treatment while others do not.

While those larger questions remain unanswered, according to Chang, the latest study proves a simple concept he hopes will drive further research in the field.

The better doctors can map the brain and identify the source of the seizures, Chang said, the greater will be the impact of the surgery.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jason Socrates Bardi
jason.bardi@ucsf.edu
415-502-6397
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Despite Treatment, Employees with Depression Generate Higher Absentee Costs, According to Thomson Reuters Study
2. American Council on Exercise (ACE) Study Reveals Kettlebells Provide Powerful Workout in Short Amount of Time
3. TV drama can be more persuasive than news program, study finds
4. Study carried out into biological risks of eating reptiles
5. Neuroimaging study may pave way for effective Alzheimers treatments
6. Study finds racial gaps continue in heart disease awareness
7. Luth Researchs IndicatorEDG(TM) Study Finds Americans Hopes of Achieving Their Dreams Are Fading
8. First blinded study of venous insufficiency prevalence in MS shows promising results
9. Soothing infants with food focus of childhood obesity study
10. People with anxiety disorder less able to regulate response to negative emotions, study shows
11. American Heart Association Rapid Access Journal Report: Study Finds Racial Gaps Continue in Heart Disease Awareness, Low Knowledge of Heart Attack Warning Signs Among Women
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
UCSF study highlights success of brain surgery for severe epilepsy
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking ... American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical ... effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users can easily customize ... Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 hand-drawn pictures into ... Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or text in the ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned ... the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at ... fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland ... iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness ... & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... plastic surgery procedures that most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to ... known procedures, but also many of these less common operations such as calf and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016   Bay Area ... Network,s Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness ... and Rehabilitation, MIT Hacking Medicine, University of California, ... today announced the five finalists of Lyme ... disease.  More than 100 scientists, clinicians, researchers, entrepreneurs, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Dehaier Medical Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ: DHRM ) ... medical devices and wearable sleep respiratory products in ... with Hongyuan Supply Chain Management Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred ... to develop Dehaier,s new Internet medical technology business. ... Hongyuan Supply Chain,s sales platform to reach Dehaier,s dealers ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... LEXINGTON, Mass. , June 24, 2016   ... specialty pharmaceutical company developing innovative inhaled drugs, announced today ... when Russell Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set ... 2016. "This is an important milestone for ... "It will increase shareholder awareness of our progress in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: