Posted by Jyoti Pal on October 17, 2011

According to the findings of the recent research, nearly half of epilepsy sufferers who underwent epilepsy surgery remained free from seizures for about a decade.

The study
For the purpose of the study, researchers at the University College London evaluated the outcome of epilepsy surgery in 615 adults with refractory epilepsy, a type that cannot be controlled with medication.

Analyses of medical records revealed that while 52 percent of participants remained seizure-free five years post procedure, 47 percent were free of them 10 years after surgery.

Additionally, no patient experienced any worsening situation regarding seizures post surgery, researchers highlighted. While many continued on anti-seizure drugs, 30 percent of patients were no longer dependent of epilepsy medication to control seizures, researchers revealed.

And “the longer a person stayed seizure free, the less likely they were to relapse,” study’s researcher John S. Duncan, stated.

Furthermore, patients who underwent a procedure for temporal lobe removal were less likely to experience a recurrence of seizures vis-à-vis patients who were operated upon in other parts of the brain, the team led by Jane de Tisi found.

Epilepsy surgery – A safe bet
Once considered a last resort for patients with medically refractory epilepsy, is now gaining domain.

“These days if a patient has failed two or three medications we might consider surgery because it has become much safer and more effective over the last few decades,” said Ashesh Mehta, director of epilepsy surgery at the North Shore-LIJ Health System Comprehensive Epilepsy Care Institute in New Hyde Park, N.Y.

But despite the fact, many seizure patients still don't opt to undergo an operation, researchers averred.

“Epilepsy surgery is a very appropriate option to look at once a patient has been deemed medically refractory, and neurologists should be referring more than they are,” researchers wrote in the findings to be published in next week's edition of The Lancet.

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