Vagus nerve stimulation for drug-resistant epilepsy

Vagus nerve stimulation for drug-resistant epilepsy

see also Responsive neurostimulation.


Vagus nerve stimulation for drug-resistant epilepsy was first approved in Europe in 1994 and in the United States (US) in 1997. Subsequent modifications improved the safety and the efficacy of the system. The most recent application of vagal neurostimulation is represented by transcutaneous devices that are claimed to have strong therapeutic potential. In a review, Toffa et al. sought to analyze the most meaningful available data describing the indications, safety and efficacy of the different approaches of VNS in clinical practice. Therefore, they identified studies reporting VNS efficacy and/or safety in epilepsy and its comorbidities from January 1990 to February 2020 from various databases including PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane, US government databases and VNS manufacturer published resources. In general, VNS efficacy becomes optimal around the sixth month of treatment and a 50-100 % seizure frequency reduction is achieved in approximately 45-65 % of the patients. However, some clinically relevant differences have been reported with specific factors such as epilepsy etiology or epilepsy classification, patient age as well as the delay of VNS therapy onset. VNS efficacy on seizure frequency has been demonstrated in both children and adults, in lesional and non-lesional cases, in focal and generalized epilepsies, on both seizures and epilepsy comorbidities. Regarding the latter, VNS can lead to an improvement of about 25-35 % in depression scores, 35 % in anxiety scores and 25 % in mood assessment scores. If non-invasive devices are undeniably safer, their efficacy is limited due to the scarcity of large cohort studies and the disparity of methodological approaches (study design and stimulation parameters). Overall, they believe that there is a progress margin for improving the safety of implantable devices and, above all, the effectiveness of the various VNS approaches 1).

see also Vagus nerve stimulation for drug-resistant epilepsy in children

VNS is indicated for symptomatic localization-related epilepsy with multiple and bilateral independent foci, symptomatic generalized epilepsy with diffuse epileptogenic abnormalities, refractory idiopathic generalized epilepsy, failed intracranial epilepsy surgery, and other several reasons of contraindications to epilepsy surgery. Programing of the parameters is a principal part in VNS. Output current and duty cycle should be adjusted to higher settings particularly when a patient does not respond to the initial setting, since the pivotal randomized trials performed in the United States demonstrated high stimulation made better responses in seizure frequency. These trials revealed that a ≥ 50% seizure reduction occurred in 36.8% of patients at 1 year, in 43.2% at 2 years, and in 42.7% at 3 years in 440 patients. Safety of VNS was also confirmed because side effects including hoarseness, throat discomfort, cough, paresthesia, and headache improved progressively during the period of 3 years. The largest retrospective study with 436 patients demonstrated the mean seizure reduction of 55.8% in nearly 5 years, and also found 75.5% at 10 years in 65 consecutive patients. The intermediate analysis report of the Japan VNS Registry showed that 60% of 164 cases got a ≥ 50% seizure reduction in 12 months. In addition to seizure reduction, VNS has positive effects in mood and improves energy level, memory difficulties, social aspects, and fear of seizures. VNS is an effective and safe option for patients who are not suitable candidates for intracranial epilepsy surgery 2).


Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is becoming an increasingly popular therapy for patients with drug resistant epilepsy 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9) 10).

The use of functional neuroimaging such as SPECT, PET and fMRI in patients undergoing peripheral nerve stimulation can help us to understand these mechanisms.

Bari et al., reviewed the literature for functional neuroimaging performed in patients implanted with peripheral nerve stimulators. These studies suggest that brain activity in response to peripheral nerve stimulation is a complex interaction between the stimulation parameters, disease type and severity, chronicity of stimulation, as well as nonspecific effects. From this information we may be able to understand which brain structures are involved in the mechanism of peripheral nerve stimulation as well as define the neural substrates underlying these disorders 11).

Connor et al., performed a review of available literature published between 1980 and 2010. Inclusion criteria for articles included more than 10 patients evaluated, average follow-up of 1 or more years, inclusion of medically refractory epilepsy, and consistent preoperative surgical evaluation. Articles were divided into 4 classes of evidence according to criteria established by the American Academy of Neurology.

A total of 70 publications were reviewed, of which 20 were selected for review based on inclusion and exclusion criteria. There were 2 articles that provided Class I evidence, 7 that met criteria for Class II evidence, and 11 that provided Class III evidence. The majority of evidence supports VNS usage in partial epilepsy with a seizure reduction of 50% or more in the majority of cases and freedom from seizure in 6%-27% of patients who responded to stimulation. High stimulation with a gradual increase in VNS stimulation over the first 6 weeks to 3 months postoperatively is well supported by Class I and II data. Predictors of positive response included absence of bilateral interictal epileptiform activity and cortical malformations.

Vagal nerve stimulation is a safe and effective alternative for adult and pediatric populations with epilepsy refractory to medical and other surgical management 12).


A study looked at the research available on the effectiveness, safety, and cost of two types of electrical stimulation devices currently licensed for treatment of epilepsy for adults and children in Canada: vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) and deep brain stimulation (DBS). Both approaches appear to be effective at reducing the frequency of seizures in adults. However, the evidence on DBS is limited to a single study with adults; Chambers and Bowen found no studies of DBS with children. Studies on VNS showed that both adults and children had fewer hospitalizations and emergency department visits after the procedure. Both procedures carry serious risks, but several longer-term studies have found that adverse events appear to be limited. The cost of VNS, including the process of assessing whether or not patients are good candidates for the procedure, is estimated to be about $40,000 per person (and higher for DBS because the device is more expensive and the operating time is longer). Of the 70,000 people in Ontario with epilepsy, about 1,400 (300 children and 1,110 adults) may be candidates for VNS to reduce their seizures 13).

Complications and failure of the device can result from lead fracture, device malfunction, disconnection, or battery displacement and can result in a variety of symptoms.

D’Agostino et al., present an interesting case of stimulator malfunction with increased impedance change seen only with a change in head position.

The patient is a 25-year-old male with a vagal nerve stimulator (VNs) placed for medically refractory epilepsy who presented with neck pain and an electrical pulling sensation in his neck whenever he turned his head to the right. Initial interrogation of the VNs showed normal impedance. Subsequent interrogation with the patient’s head turned found increased impedance only when the head was turned to the right. The patient had successful removal and replacement of the device with resolution of his preoperative complaints. Partial lead fracture was seen at explant.

Vagus nerve stimulator malfunction can present in atypical ways. Positional maneuvers may help with its timely diagnosis 14).

It is still difficult to predict which patients will respond to VNS treatment and to what extent.

Liu et al., aimed to explore the relationship between preoperative heart rate variability (HRV) and VNS outcome. 50 healthy control subjects and 63 DRE patients who had received VNS implants and had at least one year of follow up were included. The preoperative HRV were analyzed by traditional linear methods and heart rhythm complexity analyses with multiscale entropy (MSE). DRE patients had significantly lower complexity indices (CI) as well as traditional linear HRV measurements than healthy controls. We also found that non-responders0 had significantly lower preoperative CI including Area 1-5, Area 6-15 and Area 6-20 than those in the responders0 while those of the non-responders50 had significantly lower RMSSD, pNN50, VLF, LF, HF, TP and LF/HF than the responders50. In receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis, Area 6-20 and RMSSD had the greatest discriminatory power for the responders0 and non-responders0, responders50 and non-responders50, respectively. Our results suggest that preoperative assessment of HRV by linear and MSE analysis can help in predicting VNS outcomes in patients with DRE 15).


Data suggest that sudden unexpected death in epilepsy patients (SUDEP) risk significantly decreases during long-term follow-up of patients with refractory epilepsy receiving VNS Therapy. This finding might reflect several factors, including the natural long-term dynamic of SUDEP rate, attrition, and the impact of VNS Therapy. The role of each of these factors cannot be confirmed due to the limitations of the study 16).

Boon et al., conducted a systematic review on the currently available neurostimulation modalities primarily with regard to effectiveness and safety.

For vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), there is moderate-quality evidence for its effectiveness in adults with drug-resistant partial epilepsies. Moderate-to-low-quality evidence supports the efficacy and safety of deep brain stimulation (DBS) and responsive neurostimulation (RNS) in patients with DRE. There is moderate-to-very low-quality evidence that transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is effective or well tolerated. For transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (tVNS), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and trigeminal nerve stimulation (TNS), there are insufficient data to support the efficacy of any of these modalities for DRE. These treatment modalities, nevertheless, appear well tolerated, with no severe adverse events reported.

Head-to-head comparison of treatment modalities such as VNS, DBS and RNS across different epileptic syndromes are required to decide which treatment modality is the most effective for a given patient scenario. Such studies are challenging and it is unlikely that data will be available in the near future. Additional data collection on potentially promising noninvasive neurostimulation modalities like tVNS, TMS, TNS and tDCS is warranted to get a more precise estimate of their therapeutic benefit and long-term safety 17).

see Vagus nerve stimulation for drug resistant epilepsy case series.

Arhan et al., describe the first child with drug-resistant epilepsy in whom vagus nerve stimulation aggravated seizures and emerged status epilepticus after the increase in vagal nerve stimulation current output.

A 13-year-old girl presented with refractory secondary generalized focal epilepsy. Vagal nerve stimulator was implanted because of drug-resistant epilepsy. After the increase of vagal nerve stimulator current output to a relatively high level, the patient experienced seizure aggravation and status epilepticus.

They conclude that vagus nerve stimulation may induce paradoxical seizures and may lead to status epilepticus, similarly to some antiepileptic drugs 18).


1)

Toffa DH, Touma L, El Meskine T, Bouthillier A, Nguyen DK. Learnings from 30 years of reported efficacy and safety of vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) for epilepsy treatment: A critical review. Seizure. 2020 Oct 10;83:104-123. doi: 10.1016/j.seizure.2020.09.027. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33120323.
2)

Yamamoto T. Vagus nerve stimulation therapy: indications, programing, and outcomes. Neurol Med Chir (Tokyo). 2015;55(5):407-15. doi: 10.2176/nmc.ra.2014-0405. Epub 2015 Apr 28. Review. PubMed PMID: 25925759; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4628168.
3)

Alexopoulos AV, Kotagal P, Loddenkemper T, Hammel J, Bingaman WE (2006) Long-term results with vagus nerve stimulation in children with pharmacoresistant epilepsy. Seizure 15: 491–503. pmid:16859931 doi: 10.1016/j.seizure.2006.06.002
4)

Chambers A, Bowen JM (2013) Electrical stimulation for drug-resistant epilepsy: an evidence-based analysis. Ont Health Technol Assess Ser 13: 1–37. pmid:24379898
5)

Coady MA, Adler F, Davila JJ, Gahtan V (2000) Nonrecurrent laryngeal nerve during carotid artery surgery: case report and literature review. J Vasc Surg 32: 192–196. pmid:10876223 doi: 10.1067/mva.2000.105680
6)

Elliott RE, Rodgers SD, Bassani L, Morsi A, Geller EB, et al. (2011) Vagus nerve stimulation for children with treatment-resistant epilepsy: a consecutive series of 141 cases. J Neurosurg Pediatr 7: 491–500. doi: 10.3171/2011.2.PEDS10505. pmid:21529189
7)

Englot DJ, Chang EF, Auguste KI (2011) Vagus nerve stimulation for epilepsy: a meta-analysis of efficacy and predictors of response. Journal of neurosurgery 115: 1248–1255. doi: 10.3171/2011.7.JNS11977. pmid:21838505
8)

Milby AH, Halpern CH, Baltuch GH (2009) Vagus nerve stimulation in the treatment of refractory epilepsy. Neurotherapeutics 6: 228–237. doi: 10.1016/j.nurt.2009.01.010. pmid:19332314
9)

Rutecki P (1990) Anatomical, physiological, and theoretical basis for the antiepileptic effect of vagus nerve stimulation. Epilepsia 31 Suppl 2: S1–6. pmid:2226361 doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1157.1990.tb05843.x
10)

Tanganelli P, Ferrero S, Colotto P, Regesta G (2002) Vagus nerve stimulation for treatment of medically intractable seizures. Evaluation of long-term outcome. Clin Neurol Neurosurg 105: 9–13. pmid:12445916 doi: 10.1016/s0303-8467(02)00018-5
11)

Bari AA, Pouratian N. Brain imaging correlates of peripheral nerve stimulation. Surg Neurol Int. 2012;3(Suppl 4):S260-8. doi: 10.4103/2152-7806.103016. Epub 2012 Oct 31. PubMed PMID: 23230531; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3514912.
12)

Connor DE Jr, Nixon M, Nanda A, Guthikonda B. Vagal nerve stimulation for the treatment of medically refractory epilepsy: a review of the current literature. Neurosurg Focus. 2012 Mar;32(3):E12. doi: 10.3171/2011.12.FOCUS11328. Review. PubMed PMID: 22380853.
13)

Chambers A, Bowen JM. Electrical stimulation for drug-resistant epilepsy: an evidence-based analysis. Ont Health Technol Assess Ser. 2013 Oct 1;13(18):1-37. eCollection 2013. Review. PubMed PMID: 24228081; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3817921.
14)

D’Agostino E, Makler V, Bauer DF. Vagal Nerve Stimulator Malfunction with Change in Neck Position: Case Report and Literature Review. World Neurosurg. 2018 Mar 16. pii: S1878-8750(18)30551-5. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2018.03.073. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29555606.
15)

Liu HY, Yang Z, Meng FG, Guan YG, Ma YS, Liang SL, Lin JL, Pan LS, Zhao MM, Qu W, Hao HW, Luan GM, Zhang JG, Li LM. Preoperative Heart Rate Variability as Predictors of Vagus Nerve Stimulation Outcome in Patients with Drug-resistant Epilepsy. Sci Rep. 2018 Mar 1;8(1):3856. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-21669-3. PubMed PMID: 29497072; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5832772.
16)

Ryvlin P, So EL, Gordon CM, Hesdorffer DC, Sperling MR, Devinsky O, Bunker MT, Olin B, Friedman D. Long-term surveillance of SUDEP in drug-resistant epilepsy patients treated with VNS therapy. Epilepsia. 2018 Mar;59(3):562-572. doi: 10.1111/epi.14002. Epub 2018 Jan 16. PubMed PMID: 29336017.
17)

Boon P, De Cock E, Mertens A, Trinka E. Neurostimulation for drug-resistant epilepsy: a systematic review of clinical evidence for efficacy, safety, contraindications and predictors for response. Curr Opin Neurol. 2018 Apr;31(2):198-210. doi: 10.1097/WCO.0000000000000534. PubMed PMID: 29493559.
18)

Arhan E, Serdaroğlu A, Hirfanoğlu T, Kurt G. Aggravation of seizures and status epilepticus after vagal nerve stimulation therapy: the first pediatric case and review of the literature. Childs Nerv Syst. 2018 Apr 22. doi: 10.1007/s00381-018-3806-x. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29680919.

Mesial temporal lobe epilepsy treatment

Mesial temporal lobe epilepsy treatment

Stereoelectroencephalography guided radiofrequency thermocoagulation.

see Mesial temporal lobe epilepsy radiosurgery.

see Temporal lobe epilepsy surgery.

Surgical resection is the gold standard treatment for drug-resistant focal epilepsy, including mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) and other focal cortical lesions with correlated electrophysiological features.

Surgical approaches for medically refractory mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) that previously have been reported include anterior temporal lobectomy (ATL), transcortical selective amygdalohippocampectomy, transsylvian amygdalohippocampectomy, and subtemporal amygdalohippocampectomy.

Each approach has its advantages and potential pitfalls.

see Anterior temporal lobectomy.

Subiculum stimulation

Evidence has been provided that the subiculum may play an important role in the generation of seizures.Electrical stimulation at this target has been reported to have anticonvulsant effects in kindling and pilocarpine rat models, while in a clinical study of hippocampal deep brain stimulation (DBS), contacts closest to the subiculum were associated with a better anticonvulsive effect.

Vázquez-Barrón et al. evaluated the effect of electrical stimulation of the subiculum in patients with refractory mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) who have hippocampal sclerosis (HS).

Six patients with refractory MTLE and HS, who had focal impaired-awareness seizures (FIAS) and focal to bilateral tonic-clonic seizures (FBTCS), had DBS electrodes implanted in the subiculum. During the first month after implantation, all patients were OFF stimulation, then they all completed an open-label follow-up of 24 months ON stimulation. DBS parameters were set at 3 V, 450 µs, 130 Hz, cycling stimulation 1 min ON, 4 min OFF.

There was a mean reduction of 49.16% (±SD 41.65) in total seizure number (FIAS + FBTCS) and a mean reduction of 67.93% (±SD 33.33) in FBTCS at 24 months. FBTCS decreased significantly with respect to baseline, starting from month 2 ON stimulation.

Subiculum stimulation is effective for FBTCS reduction in patients with MTLE and HS, suggesting that the subiculum mediates the generalization rather than the genesis of mesial temporal lobe seizures. Better results are observed at longer follow-up times 1).


1)

Vázquez-Barrón D, Cuéllar-Herrera M, Velasco F, Velasco AL. Electrical Stimulation of Subiculum for the Treatment of Refractory Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy with Hippocampal Sclerosis: A 2-Year Follow-Up Study. Stereotact Funct Neurosurg. 2020 Oct 28:1-8. doi: 10.1159/000510295. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33113540.

Anterior temporal lobectomy (ATL)

Anterior temporal lobectomy (ATL)

Anterior temporal lobectomy for mesial temporal sclerosis is a very effective measure to control seizures, and the probability of being seizure-free is approximately 70-90%. However, 30% of patients still experience seizures after surgery.

In neurosurgery there are several situations that require transgression of the temporal cortex. For example, a subset of patients with temporal lobe epilepsy require surgical resection (most typically, en-bloc anterior temporal lobectomy). This procedure is the gold standard to alleviate seizures but is associated with chronic cognitive deficits. In recent years there have been multiple attempts to find the optimum balance between minimising the size of resection in order to preserve cognitive function, while still ensuring seizure freedom. Some attempts involve reducing the distance that the resection stretches back from the temporal pole, whilst others try to preserve one or more of the temporal gyri. More recent advanced surgical techniques (selective amygdalohippocampectomy) try to remove the least amount of tissue by going under (sub-temporal), over (trans-Sylvian) or through the temporal lobe (middle-temporal), which have been related to better cognitive outcomes. Previous comparisons of these surgical techniques focus on comparing seizure freedom or behaviour post-surgery, however there have been no systematic studies showing the effect of surgery on white matter connectivity. The main aim of this study, therefore, was to perform systematic ‘pseudo-neurosurgery’ based on existing resection methods on healthy neuroimaging data and measuring the effect on long-range connectivity. We use anatomical connectivity maps (ACM) to determine long-range disconnection, which is complementary to existing measures of local integrity such as fractional anisotropy or mean diffusivity. ACMs were generated for each diffusion scan in order to compare whole-brain connectivity with an ‘ideal resection’, nine anterior temporal lobectomy and three selective approaches. For en-bloc resections, as distance from the temporal pole increased, reduction in connectivity was evident within the arcuate fasciculusinferior longitudinal fasciculusinferior frontooccipital fascicle, and the uncinate fasciculus. Increasing the height of resections dorsally reduced connectivity within the uncinate fasciculus. Sub-temporal amygdalohippocampectomy resections were associated with connectivity patterns most similar to the ‘ideal’ baseline resection, compared to trans-Sylvian and middle-temporal approaches. In conclusion, we showed the utility of ACM in assessing long-range disconnections/disruptions during temporal lobe resections, where we identified the subtemporal resection as the least disruptive to long-range connectivity which may explain its better cognitive outcome. These results have a direct impact on understanding the amount and/or type of cognitive deficit post-surgery, which may not be obtainable using local measures of white matter integrity 1).

Anterior temporal lobectomy (ATL) with amygdalohippocampectomy (ATLAH) has been shown to be more efficacious than continued medical therapy in a randomized, controlled trial 2).

Minimally invasive approaches to treating MTLE might achieve seizure freedom while minimizing adverse effects.

Anterior temporal lobectomy as described by Penfield and Baldwin 3). is the most established neurosurgical procedure for temporal lobe epilepsy, for those in whom anticonvulsant medications do not control epileptic seizures.

It consists in the complete removal of the anterior portion of the temporal lobe of the brain.

Knowledge of the temporomesial region, including neurovascular structures around the brainstem, is essential to keep this procedure safe and effective 4).

The techniques for removing temporal lobe tissue vary from resection of large amounts of tissue, including lateral temporal cortex along with medial structures, to more restricted anterior temporal lobectomy (ATL) to more restricted removal of only the medial structures (selective amygdalohippocampectomy, SAH).

Limits of resection

The measurements are made along the middle temporal gyrus.

Dominant temporal lobe: Up to 4-5 cm may be removed

Non Dominant: 6- 7 cm.


Nearly all reports of seizure outcome following these procedures indicate that the best outcome group includes patients with MRI evidence of mesial temporal sclerosis (hippocampal atrophy with increased T-2 signal.) The range of seizure-free outcomes for these patients is reported to be between 80 and 90%, which is typically reported as a sub-set of data within a larger surgical series.

Open surgical procedures such as ATL have inherent risks including damage to the brain (either directly or indirectly by injury to important blood vessels), bleeding (which can require re-operation), blood loss (which can require transfusion), and infection. Furthermore, open procedures require several days of care in the hospital including at least one night in an intensive care unit. Although such treatment can be costly, multiple studies have demonstrated that ATL in patients who have failed at least two anticonvulsant drug trials (thereby meeting the criteria for medically intractable temporal lobe epilepsy) has lower mortality, lower morbidity and lower long-term cost in comparison with continued medical therapy without surgical intervention.

The strongest evidence supporting ATL over continued medical therapy for medically refractory temporal lobe epilepsy is a prospective, randomized trial of ATL compared to best medical therapy (anticonvulsants), which convincingly demonstrated that the seizure-free rate after surgery was ~ 60% as compared to only 8% for the medicine only group.

Furthermore, there was no mortality in the surgery group, while there was seizure-related mortality in the medical therapy group. Therefore, ATL is considered the standard of care for patients with medically intractable mesial temporal lobe epilepsy.

Surgical resection is the gold standard treatment for drug-resistant focal epilepsy, including mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) and other focal cortical lesions with correlated electrophysiological features. Anterior temporal lobectomy with amygdalohippocampectomy (ATLAH) has been shown to be more efficacious than continued medical therapy in a randomized, controlled trial 5).

The most common surgical procedure for the mesial temporal lobe is the standard anterior temporal resection or what is commonly called the anterior temporal lobectomy. There are, however, a number of other more selective procedures for removal of the mesial temporal lobe structures (amygdala, hippocampus, and parahippocampal gyrus) that spare much of the lateral temporal neocortex. Included in these procedures collectively referred to as selective amygdalohippocampectomy are the transsylvian, subtemporal, and transcortical (trans-middle temporal gyrus) selective amygdalohippocampectomy 6).

The ATL group scored significantly worse for recognition of fear compared with selective amygdalohippocampectomy (SAH) patients. Inversely, after SAH scores for disgust were significantly lower than after ATL, independently of the side of resection. Unilateral temporal damage impairs facial emotion recognition (FER). Different neurosurgical procedures may affect FER differently 7).

Outcome

Functional MRIResting state fMRIdiffusion tensor imaging modalities can be used effectively, in an additive fashion, to predict functional reorganization and cognitive outcome following anterior temporal lobectomy 8).

Complications

see Anterior temporal lobectomy complications.

Case series

Of 1214 patients evaluated for surgery in the epilepsy Center of Faculdade de Medicina de São Jose do Rio Preto (FAMERP), a tertiary Brazilian epilepsy center, 400 underwent ATL for MTS. Number and type of auras was analyzed and compared with Engel Epilepsy Surgery Outcome Scale for outcome.

Analyzing the patients by the type of aura, those who had extratemporal auras had worst result in post-surgical in Engel classifcation. While mesial auras apparently is a good prognostic factor. Patients without aura also had worse prognosis. Simple and multiple aura had no difference. In order to identify the most appropriate candidates for ATL, is very important to consider the prognostic factors associated with favorable for counseling patients in daily practice 9).


Boucher et al. compared preoperative vs. postoperative memory performance in 13 patients with selective amygdalohippocampectomy (SAH) with 26 patients who underwent ATL matched on side of surgery, IQ, age at seizure onset, and age at surgery. Memory function was assessed using the Logical Memory subtest from the Wechsler Memory Scales – 3rd edition (LM-WMS), the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT), the Digit Span subtest from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, and the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test. Repeated measures analyses of variance revealed opposite effects of SAH and ATL on the two verbal learning memory tests. On the immediate recall trial of the LM-WMS, performance deteriorated after ATL in comparison with that after SAH. By contrast, on the delayed recognition trial of the RAVLT, performance deteriorated after SAH compared with that after ATL. However, additional analyses revealed that the latter finding was only observed when surgery was conducted in the right hemisphere. No interaction effects were found on other memory outcomes. The results are congruent with the view that tasks involving rich semantic content and syntactical structure are more sensitive to the effects of lateral temporal cortex resection as compared with mesiotemporal resection. The findings highlight the importance of task selection in the assessment of memory in patients undergoing TLE surgery 10).

Case reports

Georgia country is a Caucasian low- to a middle-income country with a remarkable effort to deal with epileptic diseases, but without an appropriate epilepsy surgery program. To address the needs for such a service in this country, two joint German-Georgian projects were initiated in 2017 and 2019. In the framework of these projects, a productive exchange program involving German and Georgian experts was undertaken in the past two years. This program included training and mentoring for Georgian clinical colleagues, as well as a joint case conferences and workshops with the aim of optimizing presurgical diagnostics and preparing for an epilepsy surgery program in Georgia. Finally, a postsurgical medium- and long-term follow-up scheme was organized as the third component of this comprehensive approach. As a result of the efforts, the first patients underwent anterior temporal lobectomy and all of them remain seizure-free up to the present day. Hence, epilepsy surgery is not only feasible but also already available in Georgia. In a report, Dugladze et al. aimed to share their experiences in the initiation and implementation of surgical epilepsy intervention in Georgia and illustrate the recent endeavor and achievements 11).

References

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Busby N, Halai AD, Parker GJM, Coope DJ, Lambon Ralph MA. Mapping whole brain connectivity changes: The potential impact of different surgical resection approaches for temporal lobe epilepsy. Cortex. 2018 Nov 17;113:1-14. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2018.11.003. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30557759.
2) , 5)

Wiebe S, Blume WT, Girvin JP, Eliasziw M. A randomized, controlled trial of surgery for temporal-lobe epilepsy. N Engl J Med. 2001;345(5):311–318.
3)

PENFIELD W, BALDWIN M. Temporal lobe seizures and the technic of subtotal temporal lobectomy. Ann Surg. 1952 Oct;136(4):625-34. PubMed PMID: 12986645; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1803045.
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Schaller K, Cabrilo I. Anterior temporal lobectomy. Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2016 Jan;158(1):161-6. doi: 10.1007/s00701-015-2640-0. Epub 2015 Nov 23. PubMed PMID: 26596998.
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Wheatley BM. Selective amygdalohippocampectomy: the trans-middle temporal gyrus approach. Neurosurg Focus. 2008 Sep;25(3):E4. doi: 10.3171/FOC/2008/25/9/E4. Review. PubMed PMID: 18759628.
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Wendling AS, Steinhoff BJ, Bodin F, Staack AM, Zentner J, Scholly J, Valenti MP, Schulze-Bonhage A, Hirsch E. Selective amygdalohippocampectomy versus standard temporal lobectomy in patients with mesiotemporal lobe epilepsy and unilateral hippocampal sclerosis: post-operative facial emotion recognition abilities. Epilepsy Res. 2015 Mar;111:26-32. doi: 10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2015.01.002. Epub 2015 Jan 16. PubMed PMID: 25769370.
8)

Osipowicz K, Sperling MR, Sharan AD, Tracy JI. Functional MRI, resting state fMRI, and DTI for predicting verbal fluency outcome following resective surgery for temporal lobe epilepsy. J Neurosurg. 2016 Apr;124(4):929-37. doi: 10.3171/2014.9.JNS131422. Epub 2015 Sep 25. PubMed PMID: 26406797.
9)

da Cruz Adry RAR, Meguins LC, Pereira CU, da Silva Júnior SC, de Araújo Filho GM, Marques LHN. Auras as a prognostic factor in anterior temporal lobe resections for mesial temporal sclerosis. Eur J Neurol. 2018 Jun 28. doi: 10.1111/ene.13740. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29953714.
10)

Boucher O, Dagenais E, Bouthillier A, Nguyen DK, Rouleau I. Different effects of anterior temporal lobectomy and selective amygdalohippocampectomy on verbal memory performance of patients with epilepsy. Epilepsy Behav. 2015 Oct 12;52(Pt A):230-235. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2015.09.012. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26469799.
11)

Dugladze T, Bäuerle P, Kasradze S, et al. Initiating a new national epilepsy surgery program: Experiences gathered in Georgia [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jul 1]. Epilepsy Behav. 2020;111:107259. doi:10.1016/j.yebeh.2020.107259
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