A meta-analysis of studies regarding epilepsy surgery has concluded that the earlier surgical intervention takes place, the more chance a person has of becoming seizure- free.
The analysis was conducted by researchers from the Sahlgrenska Academy of the University of Gothenburg in conjunction with the Swedish Council for Assessment of Health Technology.
Their findings were recently published in the renowned journal, Neurology, from the American Academy of Neurology.
A meta-analysis combines the findings from a number of similar studies into one single piece in order to determine a clearer outcome regarding available research in the field.
Surgery can often be the last resort for persons with drug-refractory epilepsy where unfortunately, their seizures have not been controlled by medication or other methods.
In this analysis, 12 suitable studies were selected which pointed to the aforementioned results.
Discussing their meta- analysis, Dr. Kristina Malmgren, senior professor at Sahlgrenska Academy and consultant physician at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, commented, “The meta-analysis comprises 12 studies that examined the outcomes of surgery on patients who had previously had epilepsy for between two and 20 years. The probability of being spared from attacks (seizures) was 15-21 per cent higher for those who were operated on at an earlier stage.
The duration of the epilepsy is the only known predictor of freedom from attacks following surgery for epilepsy that can be influenced. The study therefore underlines the importance of people with drug resistant epilepsy being investigated for a possible epilepsy operation as soon as possible."
While the results of this analysis on surgical intervention is encouraging, it is imperative to note that those involved in this study have pointed to the requirement for further analysis on a wider scope of studies regarding epilepsy surgery.
We are aware this matter is of keen interest to person’s with epilepsy and their families and we will continue to monitor emerging worldwide research on this and provide updates here and on our social media channels.
If you have any questions regarding surgical intervention, please discuss same with your Epilepsy Nurse Specialist or your medical team.