Dr. Fernando Ayuga, a neurologist at the Toledo Hospital Complex, a member of the Castilla-La Mancha Health Service, participated in the annual meeting of the American Society of Epilepsy, recently held in New Orleans, presenting several papers on the experience in diagnosis and treatment of patients especially complex by neuromodulation techniques.
At the annual meeting, which brings together more than 5,000 specialists from around the world, about 400 works on this pathology are presented and this year was the first time that the Toledo Hospital participates in the exhibition.
The work, co-authored with Dr. Valentín Huete of King's College Hospital, is entitled "Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation as a Potential Technique for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Refractory Epilepsy and Continuous Partial Epilepsy" 39; and brings together experiences with various cases of epilepsy. continuous partial and multiresistant focus using invasive neurostimulation techniques for the diagnosis and treatment of this pathology.
This specialist reports that the meeting of American society addresses the most current issues of this pathology, from the rational use of antiepileptic drugs, advances in surgery, especially complicated cases, new crisis detection systems, neuromodulation.
Epilepsy is a chronic disease of the Central Nervous System that manifests itself as a crisis of multiple characteristics, usually unexpected and spontaneous, triggered by an excessive electrical activity of a group of hyperexcitable neurons.
The incidence of epilepsy in Spain is estimated at 50 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants per year, which means approximately twenty thousand new cases each year approximately. The last large epidemiological study carried out reveals that there are currently 400,000 patients with epilepsy and that there are still many people who conceal this condition to avoid a social stigma.
Thus, in the monograph epilepsy consultation of the Toledo Hospital Complex, approximately 700 patients per year with particularly complex epilepsies are evaluated.
Epilepsy is the second most common neurological disorder after headaches. It can start at any age, but it is more common in childhood and progressively after the sixth and seventh decades of life.
Isolated epileptic seizures can have many causes. Most are caused by a brain injury of more or less severity, others may have a specific genetic or biochemical basis, and a minority may be secondary to non-neurological disorders. An isolated epileptic seizure need not evolve into epilepsy. When they tend to repeat themselves, we come across this pathology.
The treatment of epilepsy is mainly based on antiepileptic drugs, which try to regulate the electrical activity of the brain. When epilepsy is not controlled with medication and the affected area can be resected without compromising the neurological integrity of the patient, what is known as "epilepsy surgery" is practiced, aiming to improve the patients' quality of life. This is done in very selected cases.
In addition, new therapeutic resources have been available in recent years. Current drugs are much better tolerated, and there are new neuromodulation techniques, such as vagus nerve stimulation and deep brain stimulation, which are used for cases of epilepsy refractory to drugs in which surgery is not indicated.