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Seizures stopped after EEG monitoring

12 November, 2001

In some cases of difficult-to-treat epilepsy, a number of patients have seen their seizures cease after internal monitoring of the brain.

Writing in the journal Neurology, Dr Charles Epstein and colleagues from the Emory Epilepsy Center in Atlanta reported on 129 patients who underwent intracranial EEGs (when the electrodes are placed inside the brain) to measure seizure activity prior to epilepsy surgery. Of these 129 people, 6 of them, within months of having the electrodes removed, saw their seizures cease for prolonged periods - from 11 months to 15 years. One of the group had been having seizures for 43 years.

Two of the patients eventually saw their seizures return, but at a far less frequent level than before.

The reason for the patients' remission is unclear, but the reseachers note that it is unlikely that the seizures stopped spontaneously, considering how long they had gone uncontrolled in these patients. A possibility, they speculate, is that the implanted electrodes caused "fortuitously well-placed" injuries on the brain that disrupted the electrical activity behind the patients' seizures.