400 experts from around the world have gathered for the first-ever International Epilepsy Surgery Society Congress to explore the latest science and practice in treating the disorder. Image for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Pixabay

Dubai: Surgical and non-surgical innovations for treating epilepsy - a disorder of the brain characterised by repeated seizures - are taking centre stage at the International Epilepsy Surgery Society Congress in Dubai.

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The three-day event, which began yesterday (January 19), brings together 400 experts for sessions sharing the latest science and practice in epilepsy surgery.

Congress president Dr Faisal Al Otaibi said: “There are more than 50 million people around the world affected by epilepsy. About 30 per cent of them have drug-resistant epilepsy that requires other treatment interventions, including surgery... It is important to note that the incidence of epilepsy has reached up to 6.5 per 1,000 in the region of the Middle East and certain Gulf countries.”

He highlighted new epilepsy treatments such as MRI-guided laser therapy and focused ultrasound therapy.

MRI-guided laser therapy targets the epileptic focus under the MRI and delivers a laser to eliminate the focus of epilepsy origin.

“This minimally invasive treatment method can shorten the patient’s hospital stay to one day,” said Dr Al Otaibi, who is professor of Neurological Surgery, Neuroscience Centre, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Al Faisal University Riyadh.

In addition to laser therapy, he added, focused ultrasound therapy is the “new horizon” in treating epilepsy.

“The ultrasonic therapy guided by MRI delivers a focused beam without any surgery. The beam will act on the epilepsy focus to control it and help people with epilepsy without surgery.”

The event aims to advance understanding, share innovative treatments and promote awareness among global experts to enhance patient care.