Seizures After Epilepsy Surgery Indicate Continuing Risk

Patients do better after surgery, but seizures may still occur

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FRIDAY, Feb. 4, 2005 (HealthDayNews) -- Early seizures following epilepsy surgery indicate that a patient is at high risk to continue having seizures, say Australian researchers.

Currently, it's believed that seizures in the weeks following epilepsy surgery are temporary and likely caused by swelling or minor injury to the brain during the surgery. The new findings cast doubt on that assumption, however.

The study of 325 patients found that those who suffered a seizure within four weeks following epilepsy surgery were eight times more likely to have persistent epilepsy eight months later.

"These findings have implications for patient counseling, but they are also interesting in terms of understanding epilepsy. We can speculate that some individuals who undergo this procedure have epilepsy that for some reason is more persistent," study author Anne M. McIntosh, of the University of Melbourne, said in a prepared statement.

She stressed that the results don't cast doubt on the surgery itself, since it's only performed on patients who have debilitating epilepsy.

"Many subjects who have a return of epilepsy still have ongoing benefit from the procedure in terms of reduced seizure frequency," McIntosh said.

The findings were published online Jan. 24 in the Annals of Neurology.

More information

The Epilepsy Foundation has more about epilepsy.

SOURCE: John Wiley & Sons Inc. news release, Jan. 24, 2005

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