EEG breakthrough helps determine source of epilepsy in the brain
One in ten people will have a seizure at least one time in their life. One in 26 people will be diagnosed with epilepsy. But there is now a new way for doctors to better detect exactly where things are going wrong in the brain.
“My dance is basically like my go to place,” said Alina Esapovich.
Esapovich has found her beat. She’s a dancer.
“When I start dancing I feel like just nothing matters,” Esapovich told Ivanhoe.
Right now she’s nursing an injury. Esapovich’s dealt with epilepsy her entire life. She can handle this. But recently her epilepsy was ruining her rhythm. Medications and surgeries weren’t keeping her seizures in check. So Florida Hospital Neurologist Terry Rodgers-Neame, MD, FACNS used a new EGI Phillips dense array EEG machine to find exactly where the seizures were coming from.
“This is a very big breakthrough,” said Dr. Rodgers-Neame.
The patient wears a net over his or her head. Two hundred fifty-six electrodes send images to cameras.
“This truly brings us into the 21st century in terms of being able to localize exactly where the seizures are coming from,” said Dr. Rodgers-Neame.
Surgeons then use these precise pictures to remove the exact section of the brain that’s causing the seizures.
“If we pinpoint that abnormal area we can take out a smaller portion of the brain and therefore decrease the risk of having serious complications from the surgery,” Dr. Rodgers-Neame explained.
Now Esapovich is nearly seizure free.
“I’m going to keep on dancing no matter what,” she said.
And crutches and seizures aren’t going to get in her way.
Seventy percent of epilepsy patients respond to medication. They can stay on it for years and never have another seizure. Those that don’t respond to two medications usually have epilepsy surgery evaluation.
Contributors to this news report include: Emily Maza Gleason, Field Producer; Chris Tilley, Videographer; Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Hayley Hudson, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.