Technology Can Make Treating Epilepsy Easier

DECEMBER 09, 2008
Keli Rising

This symposium started off with the lights dimming and the song “Leader of the Pack” blaring as a quick video was played featuring outgoing AES president Dennis Spencer, MD, on a motorcycle. Once Spencer stepped to the microphone he said, “I hope you’re in the right room for the American Hell’s Angel Society Meeting,” getting a big laugh and applause for all who were in attendance.

The presentations included “Ultra High Field MRI: Insights for the Normal and Epileptic Brain,” given by Hoby Hetherington, PhD; “Optogenetics: Development and Application,” given by Karl Deisseorth, MD, PhD; “Single-neuron Recordings in the Human Brain: Cognitive and Epileptogenic Networks,” given by Itzhak Fried, MD, PhD; and “Brain Modeling and Navigation,” given by David Roberts, MD. The common message that these neurosurgeons had throughout their discussions was that technology will make delivering the best and most appropriate care to patients with epilepsy and other seizure disorders.

Although the symposium focused on neurosurgery-specific content, it is still important that all neurologists are aware of the technological advancements in imaging, electrophysiology, and brain modeling that are happening all of the time. I want to remind you what Spencer said during the discussion we had on day 1 of the conference. He said that epilepsy patients have allowed neurologists to have a better understanding of how the brain works. This statement had the most impact on me than any other during the conference.

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