GeneralElectrodes In The Brain Offer New Hope To People Who Have Severe Epilepsy

A disorder in which nerve cell activity in the brain gets disrupted causes seizures.

A genetic condition or an acquired brain injury such as a stroke or trauma can lead to epilepsy.

A person exhibits abnormal behavior, symptoms, and sensations during a seizure, including loss of consciousness. Seizures have only a few symptoms.

Doctors treat epilepsy with medication, but it can also get treated with devices, surgery, or dietary changes in some cases.

Dr.Mohana Rao, one of Guntur’s brilliant neurosurgeons, discusses a new technique for operating on children with a severe form of epilepsy that drugs can’t control in this article.

It entails drilling small holes in the brain and inserting electrodes to burn the connection between the damaged and healthy parts of the brain.

Dr. Mohana Rao Patibandla, the Founder of Dr. Rao’s Hospital, has studied and received extensive training in all of the subspecialties of Neurosciences. He has won numerous awards, including the Congress of Neurological Surgeons’ Brain LAB Neurosurgery Award.

At least six patients have already had the procedure done successfully, including a five-month-old baby.

In India, epilepsy affects nearly ten million people. While doctors can manage most patients with medications, a small percentage of them will require surgery. “The new technique can help thousands suffering from a severe disease where seizures arise from one-half of the brain,” says Dr. Mohana Rao.

In such cases, the standard treatment involves either removing the damaged part of the brain entirely (hemispherectomy) or disconnecting the damaged part from the healthy portion (hemispherectomy).

It is not only challenging but also dangerous.

Robotic thermos-coagulative hemispherectomy

Robotic thermos-coagulative hemispherectomy (ROTCH) is a procedure that involves drilling small holes in the skull with robotic guidance to avoid making a large incision to access the brain.

Radio waves ablate or burn the interface between the right and left hemispheres, disconnecting the diseased hemisphere from the healthy one.

Electrodes get inserted into the holes, and radio waves ablate or burn the interface between the right and left hemispheres.

Dr. Mohana Rao explains that the new surgical technique was more precise, practical, and guided by advanced robotic systems and that it resulted in little or no blood loss.

“Radiofrequency has been used to treat various forms of epilepsy in the past, but this is the first time it has been used to isolate an entire hemisphere of the brain from the rest of the organ,” says Dr. Mohana Rao.

A five-month-old boy who developed epilepsy at the age of 3 was one of the patients who underwent surgery using the novel technique. The left upper hand twitched and moved involuntarily, spreading to the entire left side of the body.

The family went to their family doctor, who referred them to a neurologist, treating the baby with medication. However, the severity and frequency of seizures only grew.

A right hemispheric cortical dysplasia got discovered on MRI, a rare disease characterized by short-circuited neurons producing excessive “electricity” and uncontrollable epilepsy.

After a thorough examination, a neurologist recommended surgery for the patient.

The baby was seizure-free right after surgery and is now 5 years old, meeting developmental milestones and having no more seizures.

It was as if their son had been reborn for the parents. The neurosurgeon claimed that the parents couldn’t even see the surgical site once the sutures got removed.

Most of these patients would die of uncontrolled seizures if they were not treated.

In patients with average MRI results, a robotic guided stereo encephalography is a complex procedure in which electrodes get introduced robotically to identify seizure networks.


Dr. Mohana Rao stated, “Of the 10 million people with epilepsy in India, two million, including children and young adults, have drug-resistant epilepsy and require surgical therapy.”

“With epilepsy in the family, there is stigma, and the entire family’s productivity suffers, usually because society has several misconceptions about epilepsy,” Dr. Mohana Rao continues.

Medications can treat and cure nearly 75 percent of epilepsy cases. Drug-resistant epilepsy affects about 25% of people, making surgery the only viable option.”

This situation is why specialized epilepsy centers with advanced treatment modalities are urgently needed to close the treatment gap.

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