New Developments in Epilepsy Research

MAY 04, 2017
Amy Jacob

AT AAN 2017, Andres Kanner, MD, Professor of Clinical Neurology, Chief of Epilepsy Division from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine spoke with MD Magazine about the latest advancements in epilepsy research in all areas: genetics; variety of treatment modalities including epilepsy surgery and pharmacologic treatment; in our understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms associated with epilepsy.
“Neuro-imaging in epilepsy has transformed our way of evaluating patients both as far as evaluation for epilepsy surgery as well as understanding cognitive changes associated to those disorders. I particularly have been very interested in the development of a new surgical technique known as laser ablation that is MRI- guided as is used to treat people with temporal epilepsy or epilepsy that is associated with focal dysplasias.”
This surgical approach is not as invasive as a resection, and allows them to offer this treatment to patients that in the past were reluctant to consider surgical strategies. So far, this technique has been used in a greater number of epilepsy centers in the country and has been considered to be used outside of the US with some promise.
According to Kanner, the results obviously are limited being that they only have 1 or 2 years of follow up data, but so far that data looks quite promising. If these results are maintained for the next 5-10 years, then this could be a minimally invasive surgical approach that can replace some of the temporal resections that are typically done in epilepsy centers.

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