The Chief Executive of Epilepsy Research UK, Maxine Smeaton, recently shared some insight and information on the relationship between brain tumours and epilepsy, as well as how surgery can be used to treat them.
Some Key Points
Epilepsy can be caused through medical conditions, but can also occur due to changes in the brain. These changes may be related to injury, or of course as a result brain tumour. Therefore, subsequent seizures can be seen as an indicator that there is something wrong in the brain.
With varying levels of severity, it has been determined that up to two in three people with a brain tumour will experience seizures. Unlike with a brain tumour, it is difficult to pinpoint the origin of seizure activity. Because of this, surgery to treat seizures specifically is limited.
Mr Ashan Jayasekera from Newcastle University has developed a new technique to locate which specific parts of the brain tissue causes seizures. Removing these parts of the brain tissue could stop the seizures. This process of identification utilises MRI scans and is non-invasive. The subsequent surgery would be performed to minimize disruption to the rest of the brain.
In the past, removing parts of the tumour has not always prevented seizures from occurring post-surgery, because the seizures did not originate from that tissue. Thanks to Ashan’s research, we now know that they originate in the part of the brain next to the tumour.
This is a significant discovery. It could aid in mapping the areas of the brain, and preventing seizures from being such a common issue for those with a brain tumour in the future.
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