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Medications are effective in approximately two-thirds of people with epilepsy. The remaining one-third do not obtain good seizure control or have intolerable side effects from the medications. In these patients, surgical removal of the seizure source can offer complete seizure freedom.
However, in some cases, the source cannot be removed because it is within or too close to important areas of the brain. These patients benefit from brain devices that will reduce the frequency of seizures. The Stanford Intractable Epilepsy Program offers leading-edge epilepsy brain surgery techniques and brain devices.
If your seizures cannot be controlled with medications, you may be a good candidate for surgery or brain devices to help treat your epilepsy. The key to a better outcome is localization of the precise source of the seizure and important functions in your brain.
For localization of the seizure source, various types of diagnostic information are gathered. But the most important test results that doctors rely on are:
Video-EEG to see if the burst of abnormal activity during your seizures starts from a single site in your brain
MRI to see if there is any structural abnormality, a scarring or abnormal growth in the presumed seizure-onset area of your brain
In cases where there are uncertainties about the source of your seizures, Stanford offers intracranial monitoring with electrode probes that are placed inside your brain to find the source. Our epilepsy doctors and neurosurgeons work together to place grids of electrodes over the surface of your brain or depth electrodes in its deeper structures.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.