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March 1996

Cerebral Venous Sinus Surgery for Epilepsy 60 Years Ago

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY.

Arch Neurol. 1996;53(3):274-276. doi:10.1001/archneur.1996.00550030094026

The recent singular advances in the past 20 years in the medical and surgical treatment for epilepsy stand in marked contrast to the limited therapeutic methods available earlier in this century. George W. Swift, MD, one of the earliest neurosurgeons in Seattle, Wash, interpreted the anatomic and physiologic data of his time and concluded that impaired cerebral venous blood flow was responsible for recurrent seizures. Accordingly, he advocated and practiced decompression of the transverse sinuses. Although his operation was not practiced by his peers, a review of this procedure provides a past perspective of earlier advances and therapies for epilepsy.

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