It is estimated that as many as 3 million people in America and as many as 50 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with epilepsy. The condition causes a wide range of symptoms from simple blank staring to violent convulsions. When physicians are unable to manage these symptoms with medication, surgery may be a patient’s best option for treatment. However, the treatment of severe epilepsy is not as straightforward as that may sound. Surgery is a highly invasive, risky, costly affair, and because epilepsy affects different areas of the brain, determining exactly where the problem is located in the brain is a top priority in achieving a successful surgical outcome.
Researchers from the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota have devised a non-invasive method that is used to study the brains of individuals with epilepsy immediately following seizures. While this is not an immediate solution to the problem of locating affected areas of the brain, it does represent a positive step forward in the quest to develop techniques that can accurately determine trouble areas in the brain in preparation for surgery.
About the Author: Dr. Ilyas Munshi is a board-certified neurosurgeon who has been practicing in Lafayette, Louisiana, for the past nine years. Epilepsy and seizure-related surgery are two of Dr. Munshi’s specialties.