Epilepsy Surgery: Careful Candidate Selection Produces Comparable Results in Developed and Developing Countries

Embargoed for meeting release until 12:00 pm HT, Tues., April 1, 2003

Honolulu, Hawaii – In developing countries, where epilepsy surgery facilities, technology and expertise are limited, researchers have sought to identify factors most predictive of excellent results among candidates for epilepsy surgery. Findings from research conducted in Kerala, India, are being presented at the American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting in Honolulu, March 29-April 5, 2003. Among treatment options for epilepsy patients with intractable, temporal lobe seizures, anterior temporal lobectomy (ATL) surgery has yielded nearly a 60 percent success rate in eliminating seizures, according to previously published research (JAMA, June 2001). Medication therapy alone was shown to decrease the frequency and/or intensity of seizures in less than 10 percent of these patients. "By carefully selecting ideal candidates for ATL using an actuarial approach and the Seizure Scoring System, we found that epilepsy surgery programs in developing countries with limited facilities can produce results comparable to those from developed countries," concluded study author Kurupath Radhakrishnan, MD, professor and chair, Department of Neurology, and Head, Epilepsy Program, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences & Technology, Trivandrum, Kerala, India. Given the obvious benefits of surgery (after medication has been proven ineffective), researchers from R. Madhvan Nayar Center for Comprehensive Epilepsy Care, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum, Kerala, South India, audited their epilepsy surgery program to identify factors most predictive of successful outcomes. They studied 243 consecutive patients, selected by noninvasive evaluation, who underwent ATL and had at least two years of post-surgery follow-up.

The American Academy of Neurology is the world's largest association of neurologists and neuroscience professionals, with 34,000 members. The AAN is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer's disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, concussion, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy.

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Editor's Notes:Dr. Radhakrishnan will present his research during the AAN’s 55th Annual Meeting in Honolulu at 2:15 p.m., Wed., April 2, in Room 313A of the Hawaii Convention Center (HCC). He will be available for media questions during a briefing at 12:00 p.m. on Tues., April 1 in the AAN’s Press Room, Room 327 of the HCC. All listed times are for Hawaiian-Aleutian Standard Time (HT).


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