Surgery safe for babies and toddlers suffering from seizures

Mar 23, 2009

A new study published in Epilepsia reveals surgery for babies and toddlers suffering from epilepsy is relatively safe and is effective in controlling seizures. The findings also show that early surgery may have a positive impact on babies' brain development.

The study reviews surgeries in under three years of age across all pediatric neurosurgical centers in Canada between 1987 and 2005. 116 children had epilepsy surgeries in 8 centers across Canada. 82 percent of these children started to suffer in their first year of life.

The children generally underwent major brain operations, including removal of or disconnection of half of the brain. Despite such large operations, there were few complications and only one death. At the time of , children were having an average of 21 seizures per day, with one child having as many as 600 seizures per day. One year after surgery, 67.3 percent were seizure free, 14 percent had a greater than 90 percent improvement in seizures. Only 7.5 percent did not benefit from surgery. Development improved in 55.3 percent of the children after surgery.

"The results of this study lead us to conclude that epilepsy surgery in children under three years is relatively safe and is effective in controlling seizures," says Dr. Paul Steinbok of British Columbia's Children's Hospital and the University of British Columbia, lead author of the study. "Thus, very young age is not a contraindication to surgery in children with epilepsy that is difficult to control with medications."

A large percentage of infants and young children who might benefit from epilepsy surgery are not undergoing the procedure. Currently, such children are often treated ineffectively with various anti-seizure medications on the assumption that surgery should be considered a treatment of last resort. The results of this study argue that surgery may be a better option than continuing drug management and should be considered earlier in the treatment process than is typically done.

Source: Wiley (news : web)

Explore further: Ivory Coast closes borders with Ebola-hit neighbours

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Early treatment stops epilepsy in its tracks

Dec 13, 2007

Yale School of Medicine researchers have shown for the first time that it is possible to suppress the development of epilepsy in genetically predisposed animals—which could open the door to treating epilepsy ...

Recommended for you

Ivory Coast closes borders with Ebola-hit neighbours

2 hours ago

The Ivory Coast has closed its borders with Ebola-hit Guinea and Liberia in a bid to protect citizens against an epidemic that has killed 1,427 people across West Africa, the prime minister said Saturday.

How the world is underestimating Ebola: WHO

11 hours ago

The Ebola epidemic tearing through western Africa is by far the deadliest known outbreak of the disease, yet the magnitude of the spread is believed to be severely underestimated.

Last Ebola-free region of Liberia falls to virus

11 hours ago

Every region of Liberia has now been hit by Ebola, officials said Friday, as the World Health Organization warned the fight against the worst-ever outbreak of the killer disease would take months.

Ebola death toll rises to 1,427: WHO

21 hours ago

The death toll from the Ebola outbreak sweeping through west African countries has risen to 1,427 out of more than 2,600 cases, the World Health Organization said Friday.

User comments : 0