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Epilepsy Surgery May Ease Kids' Psych Burden

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 10:46am
John Gever

Certain types of epilepsy surgery led to significant improvements in children's mood and behavioral problems, a researcher said here.

Children undergoing left-side resections were more likely to show neuropsychiatric symptom improvements if the target was in the frontal rather than the temporal lobe, while those having right-side surgeries had improvements irrespective of site, said Elizabeth Andresen, PhD, of the Cleveland Clinic's Neurological Institute.

Relatively little improvement was seen in mood or behavioral symptoms in children with left-side temporal lobe seizure foci, but the baseline symptom burden was relatively lower to begin with, she said at a press briefing prior to her platform talk at the annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society.

Andresen noted that neuropsychiatric complaints are extremely common in children with epilepsy. Previous studies have found a nearly five-fold increase in risk of such disorders in such children compared with the general population, and a 2.5-fold risk increase relative to children with other chronic diseases.

Some other studies have found improvements in such symptoms following epilepsy surgery, she said, but they had not examined whether the benefit varied with the surgical site, either by hemisphere or by lobe.

The study was based on a combination of child self-reports and parental assessments using standard instruments, administered before and after 100 surgeries in pediatric epilepsy patients. Of 54 left hemisphere resections, 38 were in the temporal lobe and 16 in the frontal lobe; of 46 right-sided surgeries, 26 were in the temporal lobe and 20 in the frontal.

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