A study on 50 preschool-aged children with epilepsy who underwent surgical treatment showed significant improvements on overall cognitive development and left many seizure-free. The article is published in the journal Epilepsia.
Researchers conducted this study on how children aged 3-7 years old developed intellectually in the few years following epilepsy surgery. While those with severe epilepsy are at high risk for significant mental handicap, data showed that those who became seizure free after surgery were able to develop better and may actually gain some abilities that they did not have before surgery.
"The questions answered in our study have a significant every day value for counseling parents whether their child should undergo epilepsy surgery," states corresponding author, Ingrid Tuxhorn, MD.
Twelve months post-surgery, 82% of children showed stable improvements in development and three children showed gains of greater than 15 points in IQ. Gains in IQ were only observed in seizure-free children.
"This study on the long-term cognitive outcome of preschool children who had epilepsy surgery shows that children with a shorter duration of epilepsy, more localized etiologies, and a seizure-free outcome have the best chance for improving their cognitive function 2-3 years after a successful operation," adds Tuxhorn. "The question [now] is to provide data to determine ideal timing of surgical treatment."
About the Authors
Ingrid Tuxhorn, MD and co-authorHedwig Freitag, MD are editors of a book on Pediatric Epilepsy Syndromes and their Surgical Treatment and are continuing with clinical research on their outcome data which now spans 10 years. Their interests include quality of life studies and both are in the process of performing a long-term quality of life study of children who have had severe epilepsy treated at the Pediatric Epilepsy Comprehensive Care Unit at Bethel Epilepsy Center in Bielefeld, Germany.
Epilepsia is the leading, most authoritative source for current clinical and research results on all aspects of epilepsy. As the journal of the International League Against Epilepsy, Epilepsia presents subscribers with scientific evidence and clinical methodology in: clinical neurology, neurophysiology, molecular biology, neuroimaging, neurochemistry, neurosurgery, pharmacology, neuroepidemiology, and therapeutic trials. Each monthly issue features original peer reviewed articles, progress in epilepsy research, brief communications, editorial commentaries, special supplements, meeting reports, book reviews, and announcements.
About the International League Against Epilepsy
The International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) was founded in Budapest in September 1909. It has branches now in 92 countries and over 15,000 members. It is a non-profit and non-governmental association, with official links with the World Health Organization and the International Bureau for Epilepsy. It is the world's preeminent association of physicians and other health professionals working towards a world where no persons' life is limited by Epilepsy. Its mission is to provide the highest quality of care and well-being for those afflicted with the condition and other related seizure disorders. For information on epilepsy and education, please visit www.ilae.org for a patient brochure under the "resources" link.
About Blackwell Publishing
Blackwell Publishing is the world's leading society publisher, partnering with more than 600 academic and professional societies. Blackwell publishes over 750 journals and 600 text and reference books annually, across a wide range of academic, medical, and professional subjects.
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