The laser tool is far less invasive than traditional epilepsy surgery. With regular surgery, often a whole section of skull must be temporarily removed so a surgeon can remove brain tissue. With the laser tool, only a small hole must be made in the skull before a laser-scalpel is inserted. The laser is used to burn away any brain tissue that causes seizures, such as a lesion.
Of the five people treated, two became completely seizure-free within weeks of treatment – having previously experienced around 64 seizures a month. After treatment, a third person experienced seizure activity only in the form of an ‘aura’. An aura is mild epileptic activity that usually means a larger seizure is coming.
The fourth and fifth people treated were having an average of 41 seizures a month before treatment. Afterwards, one experienced only three seizures over several months, while the other had a 50 per cent seizure reduction (half as many).
The laser treatment appears very effective. While being less invasive than traditional methods, it also offers a shorter recover time. All the people treated only needed one night in hospital for the treatment and returned to regular activities within a week.
Research continues. For more information, visit the Mayo Clinic website.