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« on: May 17, 2005, 04:25:56 AM »

Early Epilepsy Surgery Helps Child Development

Preschoolers See Long-Term Improvement After Seizure Surgery[/b]

By Daniel DeNoon
WebMD Medical News

April 26, 2005 -- Don't wait too long to consider epilepsy surgery for young children, a new study indicates.

Kids who suffer frequent epilepsy seizures don't develop normally. Most have retarded mental and social development.

Seizure control -- with epilepsy drugs or a special diet -- lets children resume normal development. But for some of these kids, drug and diet treatments don't work. A drastic, but often effective option is epilepsy surgery. This surgery removes or disables a well-defined part of the brain responsible for seizures.

In about nine out of 10 cases, surgery reduces seizures. About two out of three surgery patients become seizure-free. But parents worry that brain surgery will harm young children's future development.

Just the opposite is true, suggest Hedwig Freitag, MD, and Ingrid Tuxhorn, MD, of the Bethel Epilepsy Center in Bielefeld, Germany. They studied 50 preschool children -- 40 of them for two to 10 years -- after epilepsy surgery. They found that early surgical treatment prevents further seizure damage and lets kids resume mental and social development....

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