Epileptic seizures experienced in childhood may lead to damage in the cognitive abilities of the affected children. Researchers of Bethel Epilepsy Center, Germany, say that epilepsy surgery of these children may be successfully helping their cognitive development.
Epilepsy surgery is done when the source of the seizures is clearly identified in the brain. Epilepsy surgery is available to certain types of epilepsy where the medication fails to give the patient a life free of seizures, or where the dosage of the medication may cause harmful side effects.
The researchers had studied the postoperative results of 50 children in the age group of 3 to 7 yrs who had undergone the epilepsy surgery. The children, 70% of them were mentally retarded with IQ below 70. Six to twelve months after the surgical procedure 66% of the children were seizure free, while the rest had substantially fewer seizures, with only 8% failure rate. Most children developed normally after the surgery, with the gain being most prominent being that of 15 or more points in the IQ.
The researchers concluded that although postoperative recovery also may show delay in mental development, most children, the development proceeded at a normal pace all through their life. Children suffering from epilepsy for a shorter duration may show the most substantial cognitive development.