Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study confirms benefits of hemispherectomy surgery

14.10.2003


A new study by Johns Hopkins Children’s Center scientists confirms the lasting benefits of hemispherectomy, a dramatic operation in which half the brain is removed to relieve frequent severe seizures that medications cannot control.



Results of the study, published in the Oct. 14 issue of Neurology, show that 86 percent of the 111 children who underwent hemispherectomy at the Children’s Center between 1975 and 2001 are either seizure-free or have non-disabling seizures that do not require medication.

These results are slightly improved over a 1997 study of 58 Hopkins hemispherectomy patients which found that 78 percent of children were either seizure-free or had mild seizures.


The findings should help parents who are still contemplating whether their child would benefit from the surgery, said the study’s lead author, Eric Kossoff, M.D., a pediatric epileptologist at the Children’s Center.

"It’s clear now that the quality of life of children with chronic, severe seizures greatly improves following hemispherectomy," he said. "In almost all cases, the children no longer depend on multiple medications, and post-operatively, most of the children are walking and running and living normal lives."

All hemispherectomy patients have partial paralysis on the side of the body opposite the removed portion. However, "except for a few with major postoperative complications, such as meningitis and edema, all the children we followed up with are up and about and most have adapted to their handicapped side so well that they play the piano, golf, ping-pong and can dance," Kossoff added.

In the latest study, Hopkins researchers reviewed the charts and contacted many of the families of the 58 children who participated in the 1997 study, as well as 53 other children who subsequently had a Hopkins hemispherectomy. They found 65 percent are seizure-free, 21 percent have occasional, non-handicapping seizures, and 14 percent have troublesome seizures. Eighty percent of patients no longer use drugs or are taking only one anti-convulsant medication.

The researchers say patients with Rasmussen’s syndrome, a rare nervous system disorder characterized by chronic inflammation of the brain, and those with congenital vascular injuries benefit the most from hemispherectomy. Sixty-five percent of Rasmussen’s patients and 81 percent of patients with vascular injuries are now seizure-free.

Although children with disorders of brain development (dysplasias) have just a 50/50 chance of being seizure-free following the surgery, even those with persistent seizures after surgery experience a reduction in the number of seizures, Kossoff said.

The surgery, which leaves intact the deep structures of the brain (the thalamus, brain stem and basal ganglia), is performed at Hopkins on children with Rasmussen’s syndrome, a variety of developmental abnormalities on one side of the brain, and on those who have had disabling strokes. Because children’s brains are "plastic," if surgeons remove the affected portion of the brain, the remaining portion overtakes most of the functions of the missing side.

Hemispherectomy was first attempted in the 1920s by Hopkins neurosurgeon Walter E. Dandy, M.D. It was reintroduced at Hopkins in 1968 and was refined in the 1980s by Benjamin S. Carson, M.D., director of pediatric neurosurgery at the Children’s Center and a co-author of the current study.

Additional co-authors are Eileen P.G. Vining, Diana J. Pillas, Paula L. Pyzik, Anthony M. Avellino, and John M. Freeman, all of the department of pediatric neurology and neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. (Dr. Avellino is now on the faculty at the University of Washington School of Medicine.)


The study was supported in part by The Roxanne Fund.


Johns Hopkins Medicine
Office of Communications and Public Affairs
Media Contact: Jessica Collins (410) 516-4570
Email: jcolli31@jhmi.edu

Jessica Collins | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism
19.01.2018 | Weill Cornell Medicine

nachricht Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>