The idea that we can implant a Star Trek-type device that will detect seizures and interrupt them without causing injury is entirely new. And exciting. And scary.
Especially for those people with epilepsy that have seizures that begin at one focal point in the brain, but aren’t appropriate for epilepsy surgery.
Is it a reality…a hope…or a promise?
Have you been there once for a visit? And then come back, to the land of falling down, shaking, quaking and blackouts.
We all know, the only thing that remains the same is change. Everything is in a state of flux. Drugs, science, our bodies, our brains. From that you can choose hopelessness. Or hope…
Neurosurgeons continue to explore the less invasive Gamma Knife radiosurgery for elimination of temporal lobe abnormalities and brain lesions.
The Gamma Knife itself has been around for quite a while, so there’s a history of its use. But its application specifically for this form of epilepsy hasn’t really been done before. Therefore, the purpose of recent research was to see if the advantages of this minimally invasive tool could provide an alternative to standard surgery…
There is no “welcome” sign to the world of childhood brain surgery. And the resulting combination of fear, shock, and pain is almost too much to bear.
No amount of preparation or knowledge can help to ease or minimize the situation.
But preparing a child for surgery emotionally, is one of the most important things you can do. Surgery, without proper explanations and preparation, can traumatize a child…
A Story of Hope
“If this letter helps just one person, it will be worth the months of indecision and silence of our media.”
Charles Peterson, East Quogue
Regardless of your age or epilepsy syndrome, all patients of all ages deserve the possibility of living seizure-free. And for those with intractable seizures, surgery is often the answer. But it’s a scary and risky proposition.
But, now there’s new hope when all else fails. A powerful new brain scanning tool which could make all the difference between successful and unsuccessful surgery. Even for those whose surgery has failed before.
Called the MEG (Magnetoencephalography), this powerful scanner acts as a real-time brain mapping and imaging device to determine where the epicenters of seizures are in the brain. It can detect changes in brain waves that occur on the order of milliseconds, as opposed to a second or more with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). And for a select few patients, those extra milliseconds can mean the difference between life and death.
One study stated that 80% of the patients with epilepsy were also diagnosed as having a depressive disorder. Upwards of 60% of these individuals had a history of significant episodes of depression. And 10-32% experience symptoms of anxiety.
And for those whose epilepsy cannot be controlled by meds, the likelihood of depression and anxiety are even greater.