NHS to offer epilepsy patients new form of laser surgery

Up to 150 people a year with epilepsy will have a potentially life-changing new form of surgery on the part of their brain that is causing their seizures, in an NHS initiative.

NHS England is making available a “world-leading” fiber-optic laser beam surgery that would let epilepsy sufferers avoid having to undergo neurosurgery, which is much more invasive.

Surgeons will start deploying the treatment at two as-yet unidentified hospitals, one each in the north and south of England, early next year. It is intended to help patients whose condition has not responded positively to anti-seizure drug treatments.

About 600,000 Britons – almost one in 100 of the population – have epilepsy. A third cannot control their condition using just medication. They may need to have neurosurgery to remove the part of their brain that is causing them to have seizures, which can be fatal.

Prof Sir Stephen Powis, NHS England’s national medical director, said: “This pioneering laser beam treatment for epilepsy patients is life-changing and will offer hope to hundreds of people every year who have not had success in preventing seizures with traditional drugs.

“By replacing invasive neurosurgery with a cutting-edge laser therapy, allowing clinicians to better target the parts of the brain causing epilepsy, we not only dramatically reduce risks to these patients but drastically reduce their recovery time both in and out of the hospital.”

While about 150,000 people have seizures, only about 10,000 of them are candidates to have neurosurgery, NHS England said. That is because the source of the seizure cannot be localized or the fits are not frequent or intense enough. Only a fraction of these people decides to have neurosurgery.

The people eligible for the new laser surgery will have focal epilepsy that has not been controlled by them taking maximum doses of two different drugs and who have been examined at an epilepsy surgery center.

Prof James Palmer, the NHS’s medical director for specialized services, said it was “a game-changing breakthrough for patients who have not had success with traditional forms of treatment to control their seizures and will give those with epilepsy a real chance to live a normal life”.

Patients will be able to go home the next day and resume work and normal activities a week later, whereas those who undergo neurosurgery stay in the hospital for a week and need to recover at home for three months.

Maxine Smeaton, the chief executive of Epilepsy Research UK, welcomed the move but added: “Chronic underinvestment in epilepsy research has meant effective treatments for everyone living with the condition are still decades away. Despite being one of the most common, serious neurological conditions, just 0.3% of the £4.8bn spent on health-related research was invested in epilepsy. We need more investment and more research so that we can achieve important patient innovations such as this.”

… we have a small favour to ask. Millions are turning to the Guardian for open, independent, quality news every day, and readers in 180 countries around the world now support us financially.

We believe everyone deserves access to information that’s grounded in science and truth, and analysis rooted in authority and integrity. That’s why we made a different choice: to keep our reporting open for all readers, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay. This means more people can be better informed, united, and inspired to take meaningful action.

In these perilous times, a truth-seeking global news organization like the Guardian is essential. We have no shareholders or billionaire owners, meaning our journalism is free from commercial and political influence – this makes us different. When it’s never been more important, our independence allows us to fearlessly investigate, challenge and expose those in powe

Admin Mail : [email protected]

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest article

Ukraine war: Three killed in overnight missile attack on Kyiv

Three people have died, including an 11-year-old girl, in a new night-time missile attack on Kyiv, regional police have said. Russia has been subjecting the...

How to increase the photo resolution?

Photographers are in a constant race for image quality: maximum clarity, detail, and sharpness. It’s very difficult to keep your finger on the pulse,...

Crypto Investors Need to Understand About DeFi

The concept of decentralized finance, sometimes known as “DeFi,” is gaining acceptance in contemporary culture, especially among proponents of cryptocurrencies. But what exactly is...

GBWhatsApp is an alternative to WhatsApp that offers a lot of additional features. This free and ad-free version of the popular messaging application offers...

Forex gains help India’s central bank record increase in net income

MUMBAI (Reuters) – The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) earned 2.35 trillion rupees ($28.4 billion) in net income for the fiscal 2023 on higher...
error: Content is protected !!