Radical brain surgery for infantile epilepsy

Frank Silbermann fs at cs.tulane.edu
Wed Jan 20 17:04:20 EST 1993

A few weeks ago CNN described an operation for babies/todlers
with uncontrollable epilepsy.

About 35 of these small children were diagnosed as having abnormalities
on one side of the brain only.  The doctors removed or disconnected
the abnormal side of the brain.  About 80% were then completely
free of seizures.  Children once expected to be profoundly retarded
began developing fairly normally.  The doctors said that in small children
the healthy half of the brain will take on most of the functions
of the removed/disconnected half.

I am curious as to what sort of long-term disabilities associated
with children who have had this operation.  Can they indeed
become truly normal, or are there certain abilities that
cannot be transferred to the other side?

Frank Silbermann	fs at cs.tulane.edu
Tulane University	New Orleans, Louisiana  USA

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