Brain connections linked to seizures in people with epilepsy: Research reveals Health

A network of connections in the brain that is linked to seizures in people with epilepsy has been discovered by researchers at the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology. For people whose epilepsy cannot be controlled by medication, the researchers hope that their findings published in Brain can help redesign neurological processes. Patients may be able to experience continuous relief from seizures by cutting specific frontal lobe pathways.

For those patients where the source of the epilepsy can be identified, neurosurgery may be curative.  (Shutterstock Image)
For those patients where the source of the epilepsy can be identified, neurosurgery may be curative. (Shutterstock Image)

500,000 people in the UK have epilepsy and 50 million people worldwide have the condition. But one in three cannot control their epilepsy with medication. For those patients where the source of the epilepsy can be identified, neurosurgery may be curative. However, currently, only 30% of patients remain seizure-free long-term in the frontal lobe. The team analyzed MRI scans of 47 patients who had undergone frontal lobe surgery for epilepsy years earlier.

They found that by severing the neural pathways in the brain that connect the frontal lobe to deep brain structures (the thalamus and striatum, which are responsible for relaying sensory and motor signals, motor control, emotion and reward), patients had longer seizure freedom—frontal lobe epilepsy— 88% of patients are free at three years and 80% are free at five years, compared to typical results of curative neurosurgery (30%).

In addition to preventing the recurrence of future seizures, the researchers found that cutting the connections had no negative effect on language or executive functions. Lead author and neurosurgeon, Mr David Giampicolo (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology and Cleveland Clinic London) said: “Neurosurgery can be very effective for people with epilepsy that is not controlled by medication. However, some patients have recurrent seizures years later. Surgery and, now So far, it is not clear why this happens.

“We now think it may be related to the connections in the brain that form the network that gives rise to epileptic seizures. If this is correct, surgically severing this frontal lobe network could prevent recurrences years later. Mr. Giampicolo said: “This will allow us to re-negotiate neurosurgical operations. : will allow to design and personalize operations for each patient, ensuring that the correct connections are cut. We hope this will greatly improve the long-term outcomes of epilepsy surgery.”

Tom Shillito, Health Improvement and Research Manager, Epilepsy Action, said: “Neurosurgery can be a really effective treatment for many people facing the challenges of uncontrolled epilepsy. It can have a huge and often debilitating effect on many aspects of life, from education to education. However, long after brain surgery With only a small number of people surviving seizures in time, it can be incredibly difficult to make the decision to undergo invasive surgery.

“It’s exciting that these new findings have seen improved outcomes in giving people long-term freedom from seizures and this is a promising development for people with drug-resistant epilepsy. We hope it will help empower people with epilepsy to make more of their future treatments.” “We look forward to seeing how this treatment develops, hopefully giving people with epilepsy more freedom to share.”

This story is published from the Wire Agency feed without modification to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

Leave a Comment