Advancement in Surgical Options Provides Hope for Epilepsy Patients

Treatments have grown as doctors learn more about seizure disorders

DAYTON, Ohio (April 29, 2019) – The neurological disorder known as epilepsy has many causes. Some of them may not be fully known, but new discoveries about the condition are providing hope to individuals who suffer from it.

“Today’s technology has provided us with a number of different treatment options depending upon the patient’s needs,” said Daniel Gaudin, MD, Ph.D, a neurosurgeon at the Clinical Neuroscience Institute (CNSI).  “Neurological epileptologists meet with patients to evaluate their condition and determine a treatment path, and they may also receive a neuropsychological and neurosurgical evaluation as well.”

Despite many pharmaceutical advancements, medication alone may not be enough to properly treat a patient’s symptoms, he said. However, surgeons like Dr. Gaudin can utilize different methods and tools to provide a more customized treatment plan when considering a surgical solution.

“The Clinical Neuroscience Institute’s neurological team meets each month to review patient cases and determine if they are ideal epilepsy surgery candidates,” said Dr. Gaudin, who practices with Premier Physician Network. “If so, we talk about the best type of surgery we can offer them.”

Physicians are also utilizing an invaluable technique known as brain mapping which uses a set of non-invasive imaging procedures to study the anatomy and function of the brain. This allows a neuropsychologist to visualize and map specific functions of the brain and provide a more tailored solution for the patient.  

According to Dr. Gaudin, the number of surgical options has grown as surgical technology has advanced. Many patients can now benefit from some of the following procedures:

Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) - Vagus nerve stimulation prevents seizures by sending regular, mild pulses of electrical energy to the brain via the vagus nerve. It is sometimes referred to as a "pacemaker for the brain."

Closed Loop Stimulation - Close loop stimulation implants an electrode in the area where the seizure is originating, which can be used to detect seizure activity. When a seizure begins to take place, an electrical impulse stimulates the nerve to stop the seizure.

Deep Brain Stimulation - This solution is similar to Closed Loop Stimulation, but it utilizes an approach that places an electrode in another area of the brain, other than a seizure’s origination point.

Open Surgery - This procedure is used to remove the portion of the brain that is responsible for the seizure.

Radiosurgery - Surgeons direct radiation therapy to specific parts of the brain to control seizures.

Laser surgery - Laser technology is a newer, non-invasive surgical technique, enabling surgeons to target and treat seizure-causing areas of the brain with precision.

Dr. Gaudin said these treatments continue to improve and offer hope to many patients who once might have thought they were without options. This can help provide a major improvement to a person’s quality of life. 

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