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Epilepsy surgery stands test of time

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11:18am, July 1, 2005

Examinations of people who 30 years earlier had elected to have brain surgery for epilepsy show that half of them have been free of seizures nearly all of that time.

William H. Theodore and Kathy Kelley of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) in Bethesda, Md., contacted 48 epilepsy patients who had had the operation between 1965 and 1974. In each of these patients, doctors had removed a portion of either the right or left temporal lobe, depending on where the individual's seizures occurred. The corresponding brain portion in the other, intact temporal lobe was able to compensate for the cognitive functions formerly orchestrated by lost tissue.

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