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Epileptic patients will soon be treated with a “game-changing” laser beam therapy that targets affected brain tissue to help to reduce seizures.

The fibre optic laser therapy will be introduced on the NHS in June, and involves drilling a tiny hole in the skull to pass a 1.5mm-wide probe containing the laser into the brain.

The laser then heats up and destroys the brain tissue that causes seizures. During the procedure, surgeons use MRI scans to guide the probe, helping them to avoid blood vessels and more critical brain regions.

The treatment will help patients whose anti-seizure medication is ineffective The treatment will help patients whose anti-seizure medication is ineffective GORODENKOFF/GETTY IMAGES Patients can recover from the treatment in 24 to 48 hours, making the therapy far less invasive than equivalent surgery, from which it can take months to recover.

James Palmer, a consultant neurosurgeon and NHS England’s medical director for specialised services, said: “This laser beam therapy is game-changing for patients and will offer new hope on the NHS to those for whom standard drugs are not effective in controlling their seizures.

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Date: 7 May

Posted in News on May 07, 2024

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