December 20, 2005 07:15 ET

REMINDER: Presents: Resective Surgery for Refractory Epilepsy, a Highly Effective Surgical Treatment of Epilepsy

Live Webcast From Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center, Houston, Texas, Wednesday, December 20th, 2005 at 5:30 PM CT (23:30 UTC)

HOUSTON, TX -- (MARKET WIRE) -- December 20, 2005 -- While the majority of patients with epilepsy are managed well with medications, a significant number of patients -- approximately 25 percent -- do not respond well to pharmacological therapy. For many of these patients with pharmaco-resistant epilepsy, surgery may offer a positive outcome.

The surgery will be performed by Nitin Tandon, M.D., assistant professor of neurosurgery at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston.

Resective surgery for epilepsy targets a specific, localized part of the brain, where the seizures are thought to originate. Though the origin of seizures may be within the frontal, parietal or occipital lobes, most typically, medically refractory seizures originate deep within the temporal lobe. Patients with such seizures can be well treated by a temporal lobectomy -- a resective surgery in which scarring deep in the temporal lobe, in a part called the hippocampus, is removed.

"This advanced surgery has contributed so much to the quality of life for many patients," says Dr. Tandon. "It is the final step in a complex process, a true team effort, beginning with the very first EEG through recovery."

Mapping of the brain and localization of the area of the brain responsible for seizure onset sets the stage for the resective procedure. The candidate for the Dec. 20 surgery will undergo a detailed evaluation by 24-hour monitoring in the Memorial Hermann Epilepsy Monitoring Unit. If the planned resection is adjacent to parts of the brain involved in speech or motor function, the patient will also undergo cortical stimulation mapping with the implanted electrodes. This mapping will be reviewed during a video taped portion of the Webcast.

More than half of epilepsy patients who have resective surgery remain completely seizure free, and a total of 85 percent report a marked decrease in number of seizures and in severity. And yet, of approximately 300,000 candidates in the U.S. who could benefit from it, only about 3,000 will receive this proven, advanced neurosurgical procedure each year.

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