Surgery, generic
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Mumbai: In a unique case, a young Mumbai woman has been cured of a 12-year-old epilepsy after a neurosurgeon removed a part of her brain, said an official of Apex Hospitals on Thursday.

The patient, working in a private company, suffered her first epileptic attack while studying in a college 12 years ago, and since then, she has grappled with the disease.

She suffered recurring headaches and other problems that did not allow her to complete her higher education or attend work regularly, hampering her professional life besides being unable to tend to her husband and a young child.

Initially, she was put on heavy medication, including five pills daily, for the past five years, causing concerns to the patient and her family.

Finally, her husband approached neurosurgeon Dr. Samir Parekh at Apex Hospital's Kandivali branch to learn how to reduce her daily medical doses.

Post-examination, Dr. Parekh recommended brain surgery in her case since medicines failed to control her epilepsy and the accompanying fits.

"The patient was in a panic mode due to her illness and could not concentrate on anything, including her work. We conducted neurology and neuropsychology assessments. A brain MRI and EEG showed the origin of fits from the left side of the brain's temporal lobe," said Dr. Parekh.

Accordingly, he decided to remove the affected temporal lobe on the left side of her brain or temporal lobectomy and remove the amygdala and hippocampus in medical terms.

The brain operation in November 2023-end lasted one hour, and post-surgery, she became fully conscious, was talking usually and was able to move all limbs. In a few days, she resumed her work as usual without the problems she had encountered earlier.

On the follow-up after three months, she was continuing only two medicines, and now it has been reduced to just one dose of a treatment, which is a proven success in epilepsy disease.

Even this single medicine shall be reviewed after a quarter by the doctors depending on her medical progress, said a spokesperson for the hospital.

"Epilepsy is a disease that affects the central nervous system of the brain. People affected by it suffer from abnormal brain activity that ultimately leads to brain seizures, lack of consciousness and strange behaviour," he said.

As per global estimates by the World Health Organisation (WHO), there are around 50 million people who are affected and live with epilepsy, while up to nearly 1.2 crore Indians -- said to be the highest in the world -- are also suffering from the potentially fatal disease.

However, many remain deprived of proper treatment owing to social stigma to epilepsy, lack of awareness, limited access to expert healthcare or effective medicines, more incidence among males in rural areas from the lower socio-economic strata, and other factors.