Gamma Knife Sugery Can do More for Epileptics than Drugs Like Topamax

Researchers in France are discovering that Gamma knife surgery (GKS) is showing much promise with regards to helping epileptics, and in more ways than just reducing the patient’s number of seizures. This is great news, especially if it can help prevent patients having to rely so heavily on medications like Topamax.

Jean Regis and his team at Timone University Hospital had been studying the long-term effects of GKS for hypothalamic hamartomas in patients as young as three years old. The goal was to see the long-term effects of GKS after a period of about three years following the surgery. They studied the 40 patients who were treated with GKS between January 1999 and December 2007 and followed up with for at least three years after the surgery. During the exams, researchers looked for the patients’ “seizure record review, neuropsychological tests, psychiatric evaluation, endocrinology evaluation and visual field and acuity analysis.”

Researchers found that patients who were having up to 92 seizures per month before the surgery were having 6 seizures monthly afterward.

“This prospective trial is demonstrating very good safety and efficacy of gamma knife radiosurgery in the long term,” says Regis. “Beyond seizure reduction, the improvement in psychiatric and cognitive domains, school performance and social integration appears to be a major benefit for children with this frequently catastrophic condition. We will continue to follow these children to observe any changes that might occur in their condition as they age.”

A different study conducted at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Sherbrooke in Canada analyzed GKS for hypothalamic hamartoma in a smaller group of patients between the ages of 14 to 57. This study found that 66 percent of the patients didn’t have any seizures during their 18-month follow-up examinations.

“We found that when the entire lesion could be targeted, radiosurgery did more than reduce the seizures,” the study’s lead author, Pascale Bourgoise, said. “There also were encouraging effects on cognition and quality of life. While the procedure is ineffective for large lesions, gamma knife surgery should be a first line surgical therapy for small hamartomas.”

While there are medications like Topamax that are used to help treat epileptic patients, the drugs have proven to be dangerous for women and their offspring, so the GKS surgery may be a better option. Topamax is an anti-seizure medication that has been linked to birth defects in babies whose mothers took the drug while pregnant. The birth defects linked to Topamax include oral clefts, cleft palate, PPHN and neural tube defects. If your baby was born with birth defects after being exposed to Topamax, contact attorney Greg Jones today for a free consultation. I am experienced at fighting Topamax lawsuits and might be able to help you get the money that you are entitled to.

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