What is epilepsy and what are its treatment options?
Epilepsy is a common disorder affecting about one in two hundred people of all ages. In the majority, drug treatment will provide good control of the seizures but in at least ten percent ongoing attacks occur despite trying several drugs (Refractory Seizures). In this case it is often appropriate to consider epilepsy surgery.
Most refractory seizures arise from a single focus (location) within the brain and it is frequently possible to identify this region in an individual. Often the area is not functioning correctly and removal can abolish the seizures without affecting normal functions. If this is not possible, then there are a variety of electrical stimulation techniques which allow for much improved seizure control without the need for removing tissue. Vagus nerve stimulation for example offers surgery, often without the need even for an overnight stay in hospital which in many cases will improve control substantially. The treatment of epilepsy is complex and it is important that all aspects of the condition are considered. Top quality comprehensive epilepsy care requires a specialist team including neurologists, neurophysiologists, radiologists and surgeons to ensure optimum control and quality of life is achieved for every individual. The London Neurosurgery Partnership has assembled just such a team to ensure world class care for all of its epilepsy patients.