December 11, 2002

MEDIA CONTACT: Jessica Collins
PHONE: 410-516-4570

Cause of Seizures May Play a Role in Predicting Success of Pediatric Hemidecortication Surgery  

The success of a more common and less radical form of hemispherectomy, an operation in which half the brain is removed to relieve severe seizure disorders that medications cannot control, depends on the cause of the seizures, according to Johns Hopkins Children's Center researchers studying 106 patients who underwent hemidecortication from 1975 to 2001. In hemidecortication, the overlaying gray matter is removed, preserving the white matter around the ventricle. Eric Kossoff, M.D., and his colleagues found that the children most likely to be seizure-free and off drugs after surgery had Rasmussen's Syndrome, a viral-like, degenerative illness in the brain, or congenital strokes. Children with irregular brain development were less likely to be seizure-free. There was no apparent change in IQ after surgery. The findings are presented at the American Epilepsy Society annual conference.

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