Epilepsy

In patients with epilepsy, the brain’s normal electrical pattern is disrupted by sudden bursts of electrical energy that can cause loss of consciousness and seizures. Brain surgery may be an option if seizures cannot be controlled through medication or other non-invasive treatment. It is particularly effective when seizures appear to be caused by abnormalities such as benign brain tumors, cortical dysplasia, arteriovenous malformations, cavernous angiomas, tuberous sclerosis, and strokes. The surgery confirms whether there is an association and then the condition is treated.

Surgery also may involve cutting the nerve fibers, or corpus callosum, that connect the two hemispheres of the brain. That limits any burst of electrical impulses from one side of the brain to the other. Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) helps control seizures through the implant of a small stimulator that sends regular mild pulses of electrical energy to the brain via the vagus nerve.

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