Epilepsy Surgery Brings Long-Term Results
Researchers Say Brain Surgery Can Relieve Epileptic Seizures for up to 30 Years
WebMD News Archive
June 14, 2005 -- epilepsy can
provide relief from seizures for up to 30 years, a new study suggests.
Brain surgery to treat
"Few studies have looked at the long-term prognosis for epilepsy
surgery," says researcher William H. Theodore, MD, of the National
Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, in a news release. "We
found that 50 percent of the patients were free of seizures 30 years after the
The results of the study appear in the June 14 issue of
Effects of Epilepsy Surgery Last
Epilepsy surgery is reserved as a treatment option for people whose seizures
do not respond to medication. The procedure, known as a temporal lobectomy, involves surgically
removing the part of the brain where seizures most often occur.
The study involved 48 people who had epilepsy surgery at the National
Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., about 30 years ago. Researchers
interviewed the patients and their families about whether they had seizures
one, five, 10, and 30 years after the surgery.
The results showed that half of the people who received the surgery were
free of seizures up to 30 years later. Fourteen were free of seizures without
epilepsy drugs, and 10 were seizure free with epilepsy medication.
Researchers say patients who had seizures within the first year after
surgery were least likely to be seizure free in the following years.
Ten patients died during the follow-up period. Seven died due to unrelated
causes, and three died during a seizure.