Epilepsy Foundation Chair and Board Member Discuss Promising News on Epilepsy Surgery Study on ABC News
October 17, 2011
Epilepsy Foundation Chair, Dr. Brien Smith and National Board member, Tina Westra, both spoke to ABC NEWS.com about a new study that shows promising results for epilepsy surgery. The new study, reported on October 13, 2011 in the Lancet, found that 52 percent of patients were free of major seizures 5 years after surgery and 47 percent were free of them 10 years after surgery. About 30 percent of the study participants no longer needed any medication to control seizures.
In the story, Dr. Smith was quoted as saying: "Epilepsy surgery is a very appropriate option to look at once a patient has been deemed medically refractory, and neurologists should be referring more than they are." He added,"There is some argument that epilepsy surgery is one of the most underutilized procedures in the U.S."
Epilepsy Foundation Board Member and National Youth Council Member, Tina Westra, was also interviewed for the story, specifically on what it is like to live with daily anxiety of when her next seizure will happen.
Westra's type of epilepsy is normally controlled with medication and is not treated with surgery, but she still hopes surgery will become more of a treatment mainstay so others can benefit.
"I think about younger kids who have seizures. I would want them to be able to live the most normal life possible," she said.