June 2011

Another Good Reason to Consider Surgical Treatment for Epilepsy More Often and Sooner

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Departments of Neurology, Neurobiology, and Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, and the Brain Research Institute, David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles.


Copyright 2011 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2011

Arch Neurol. 2011;68(6):707-708. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2011.113

Approximately 3 million people in the United States have epilepsy,1 and it is estimated that at least one-third of them continue to have seizures despite adequate treatment with antiseizure medication.2 Unpublished data from the National Association of Epilepsy Centers indicate that somewhere between 2000 and 3000 people receive surgical treatment for epilepsy in the United States annually (R. Gumnit, MD, written communication, 2010), most of whom have temporal lobe epilepsy. It is safe to conclude, therefore, that less than 1% of patients in the United States with medically refractory epilepsy are ever referred to an epilepsy center to determine whether they might be candidates for surgical treatment.

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