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Epilepsy treatment with MRI-guided laser – neurosurgery that

According to the review published in the Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports journal, in over 39% of new epilepsy cases it is impossible to control seizures with drug treatment. Unfortunately, not all patients with drug-resistant epilepsy are optimal candidates for the curative open neurosurgical procedure.

Date:   6/27/2019 8:48:25 PM   ( 3 y ) ... viewed 1439 times

According to the review published in the Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports journal, in over 39% of new epilepsy cases it is impossible to control seizures with drug treatment. Unfortunately, not all patients with drug-resistant epilepsy are optimal candidates for the curative open neurosurgical procedure. Furthermore, those ones who are able to tolerate the intervention are at risk of cognitive or neurological deficit development. Laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) is the first-line therapy in such case.

Why does epilepsy fail to be cured by medications?

Pathogenetic background of epileptic seizures development is pathologic electric activity of the certain brain part. Medications suppress abnormal impulses formation, but do not address root cause of the disease. Moreover, in a number of patients drugs are ineffective, making people live with constant fear of seizures development.

Neurosurgery seems to be more efficient. On one hand, surgery destroys pathologic brain part. On the other hand, it has raised certain concerns, as brain surgery can be potentially associated with significant risks. Less invasive epilepsy treatment, Gamma-knife surgery, may also give poor results, especially when the target zone is located near vital brain regions (e.g. respiratory center, hypothalamus).

MRI-guided laser ablation – promise of the curative treatment

LITT is a newer minimally invasive treatment option. It is not connected with significant neurosurgical risks, but provides the same result – destruction of the epileptogenic brain region. Simplicity of the technique makes it possible to apply it even in children.

During the LITT procedure, flexible catheter with a laser on its end is used. It delivers targeted beams of light directly to the necessary region. Structure of the medical device allows better maneuvering and precision.

Laser is introduced inside skull via the pinhole incision. Before the procedure, doctor develops the most sparing path of movement through the brain tissue. The whole process is guided through MRI in the real-time, so doctor sees catheter perfectly at all stages. Carbon dioxide is used to cool laser along its way to the target region, so healthy tissues are not affected.

As the less invasive procedure, that does not require craniotomy, LITT is possible in patients with contraindications to the conventional neurosurgical intervention. Quick recovery and minimal discomfort is the additional benefit – patient can go home the day after therapy performing. Today, LITT-procedure may be performed instead of the conventional surgery even in patients with relatively low surgical risks.

Targeted epilepsy treatment in the specialized European hospitals

Looking for a hospital for the curative epilepsy treatment (i.e. resective epilepsy surgery or LITT procedure), it is worth paying attention to the specialized European hospitals. In Europe, and particularly in Germany, there is such a medical specialty, as epileptologist. Epileptologists go into the heart of the pathology and offer the most beneficial individual treatment.

Beta International Epilepsy Centre at Beta Klinik Bonn, headed by Prof. Dr. med. Christian E. Elger, offers full range of the correspondent medical services, including epilepsy treatment with MRI-guided laser. Specialists of the clinic pay attention to the comprehensive preliminary examination with precise determining of the epileptogenic focus and thorough treatment planning. Medical programs are performed in close cooperation with a team of neurosurgeons and neurologists.

If you are not a German citizen, you can visit clinic with the help of Booking Health. Booking Health is the certified medical tourism provider that gives chance of seizure-free life to patients with epilepsy from 75 countries. Should you leave the request on the official Booking Health website, and preparation to your medical trip will start the same day.

 

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