Monday, June 9, 2008
Medical Reports: Stopping Seizures
South Florida has the highest number of people with epilepsy in the country. Now, doctors here are trying to find ways to diagnose and cure these patients faster. Seven's Richard Lemus shows us how a new lab with hi-tech gadgets is Stopping Seizures.
WSVN -- Kayce Fox has her hands full chasing around her active daughter.
Kayce Fox: "She's 15 months old, she loves to explore and play and get into everything she's not supposed to."
What makes caring for her little girl even tougher, Kayce has epilepsy.
The neurological disorder causes the new mom to suffer from seizures, something she worries could strike while she's alone with her child.
Kayce Fox: "It's scary. She could be on the floor playing, and then, all of a sudden, Mommy is not coherent at all, Mommy is not watching."
For years, doctors didn't know much about what was causing Kayce's condition, so all they could do was give her medications to try and control her seizures.
Kayce Fox: "I've never been successfully medicated. Nothing has ever regulated the seizures."
Now there's finally hope for patients like Kayce. A new lab at Holy Cross Hospital is equipped with break through technology to help diagnose and hopefully cure epilepsy.
Dr. Eduardo Locatelli, Holy Cross Hospital, Neurologist: "A lot of people out there are said to have epilepsy, and they don't, so making the right diagnosis and, second, if you do have epilepsy, to see if you have a better option, which could be surgery, which can cure your epilepsy."
Patients spend several days in one of the lab's private rooms with their head hooked up to these electrodes. Technicians in a control room watch them 24/7, while these video cameras and computers monitor and record their brain wave activity.
Dr. Eduardo Locatelli: "This way you can see exactly what is happening in the brain, in the different areas, based on these electrodes."
The idea? To catch a patient having a seizure, so doctors can determine where the abnormality in the brain is located.
Dr. Eduardo Locatelli: "So if we're able to identify where those seizures are coming from and that particular part of the brain doesn't serve anything, a surgeon can go and remove it. We can remove the area that triggers the seizures, and therefore we cure the epilepsy."
During her short stay at the lab, Kayce had about 13 seizures.
Dr. Eduardo Locatelli: "Here we can see on the right side where the seizure starts."
But, for the first time, she finally got the answers she's needed.
Kayce Fox: "They found out my seizures are actually coming from my temporal lobe, my right temporal lobe. I felt like such a weight was lifted off my shoulders, cause I knew so much more about my condition."
Now Kayce is scheduled to undergo brain surgery. It's a risk she's willing to take, so she can focus all of her attention on her little girl.
Kayce Fox: "I want her to have her mother there for her, 100 percent."
Doctors want to point out, not all seizures are caused by epilepsy. Some could be the result of other neurological or psychological problems. This lab can help differentiate them.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Eduardo Locatelli MD MPH
Medical Director of Epilepsy Monitoring Unit
Holy Cross Hospital