Surgical treatment for epilepsy

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Nearly one-third of patients with newly diagnosed epilepsy will develop medically refractory seizure disorders. The initial response to antiepileptic drug therapy is highly predictive of long-term outcome. Patients with intractable epilepsy may have a progressive disorder that is medically, physically, and socially disabling. Surgical resection of the epileptogenic zone or lesional pathology, or both, may significantly reduce seizure tendency in selected patients. The present review supports the position that early and effective epilepsy surgery may not only render the patient with intractable partial epilepsy seizure-free, but also allow the individual to become a participating and productive member of society. Patients with surgically remediable epileptic syndromes should be identified early in the evaluation and treatment of their seizure disorders. Favorable candidates for focal cortical resection include individuals with medial temporal lobe epilepsy and partial seizures related to selected lesional pathology, e.g. primary brain tumor or vascular anomalies. In conclusion, surgical treatment of intractable partial epilepsy has been shown to compare favorably to antiepileptic drug therapy. Individuals rendered seizure-free may experience a significant improvement in quality of life. Patients who fail to respond to initial antiepileptic drug therapy should be "triaged" to a presurgical evaluation. Ictal semiology combined with structural magnetic resonance imaging and the electroclinical correlation may permit identification of candidates for early and effective surgical treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-186
Number of pages8
JournalEpilepsy Research
Issue number2-3 SPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - Jul 2004


  • Epilepsy surgery
  • Intractable epilepsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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