Literature Monitor

Surgery May Not Reverse Brain Damage in TLE

Epilepsia; 2017 Nov; Marcotta et al.


Performing surgery on patients with intractable temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) does not alter the underlying pathology of the disease suggests a recent study that compared functional connectivity in patients’ cognitive functional networks.

  • Investigators analyzed 17 patients pre- and postoperatively, looking at a set of cognitive functional networks based on typical cognitive tasks, and comparing these findings to 17 controls.
  • Functional networks were significantly different in TLE patient when compared to controls.
  • Surgery did not have any significant effect on network connectivity, even though it did eliminate seizures.
  • Researchers concluded that long-term intractable TLE causes changes in the brain that are “burned in,” suggesting that delayed surgery may lead to irreversible damage.

Maccotta L, Lopez MA, Adeyemo B, et al. Postoperative seizure freedom does not normalize altered connectivity in temporal lobe epilepsy. Epilepsia. 2017;58(11):1842-1851.

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