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April 29, 2012 / drrobertcach

New Study Supports Surgery for Epilepsy, by Dr. Robert Cach

Neurologist Dr. Robert Cach owns and operates the Idaho Neurological Center in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

A new study conducted by researchers from the University of Rochester in New York suggests that temporal lobectomy surgery may be the best option for certain forms of epilepsy. The study followed patients with temporal lobe epilepsy who did not respond to drugs. The researchers were particularly interested in how the surgery affected quality of life.

Patients who received surgery reported that they were living seizure-free after two years. They showed an increased ability to hold down jobs, have an active social life, and drive vehicles. The patients in the control group, who did not have surgery, had frequent seizures, remained on disability, and were less likely to be able to operate vehicles.

Researchers also compared cognitive abilities between the groups, since the surgery has been shown to reduce some cognitive functions. However, the surgical group experienced no greater decline in mental function than the control group over the course of the study.

While the Rochester study was fairly small, it seems to suggest that neurologists should be more aggressive about offering surgery to patients with uncontrolled temporal lobe epilepsy.

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