Epilepsy is a disorder caused by abnormal surges in the electrical circuits of the brain that result in seizures and is found to affect more than 2 million people worldwide. More than half of those with epilepsy can live seizure-free by just taking medications.
Researchers now say that a new study is under way to determine just how effective surgery is compared to drug therapy when treating those with temporal lobe epilepsy, the most common form of the disorder. Typically, about 80 percent of people who have this type of epilepsy, will be completely free of all seizures after the surgery say doctors.
For the study 200 participants were to be offered brain surgery, while the remaining 100 were to continue on medications. Participants who were to be included in the study had to be people who have had seizures for no more than 2 years and those unable to bring them under control with medications. Both groups would be further monitored for two years to determine which treatment is more effective at eliminating seizures and improving quality of life.
However researchers say not all patients respond as well to the surgery, and doctors warn the procedure is not for everyone and researchers say there is approximately a 1 percent risk of significant disability due to stroke, bleeding or other complications.