Hoag’s Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute Selected to Participate in Study of Pioneering Surgical Epilepsy Treatment

Hoag’s Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute Selected to Participate in Study of Pioneering Surgical Epilepsy Treatment

Orange County residents who are suffering medication-resistant epilepsy can now access a pioneering, minimally invasive surgical procedure to relieve seizures. Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute (PFNI) at Hoag is one of only three sites in the western U.S. to offer the procedure, MRI-guided laser ablation, through a clinical trial. 

For nearly 50 years, there were few options for patients who suffer from medication-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy. The most effective procedure was temporal lobectomy, a highly invasive surgery that involves removing a large section of the brain and can result in loss of vision, speech, memory, and neurocognitive abilities. 

The SLATE clinical trial will study the effectiveness of minimally invasive laser surgery using the Medtronic Visualase system. This approach uses an MRI-guided laser probe, approximately the width of a guitar string, to target and destroy the scar, tumor, or malformation that causes seizures. The procedure is revolutionizing the surgical treatment of epilepsy, previously a large and invasive surgery with numerous potential side effects, which may now be performed in a minimally invasive procedure requiring an overnight...

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