Rare Surgery at a Hospital Gives New Lease of Life to Three-Year-Old Epileptic Child in India

CC0 / / Surgical instruments in the operating room
Surgical instruments in the operating room - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.12.2021
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Gelastic seizures are an epilepsy syndrome usually present in childhood and newborns and are manifested by frequent attacks of abnormal laughter. Said to be a rare disorder, studies show that one in every 200,000 children suffers from this abnormality.
In a rare surgery, doctors at Kamineni Hospitals in India's Hyderabad city treated a three-year-old child named Grace who was having bouts of sudden laughter known as gelastic seizures.
Six months ago, the child used to get seizures once a month and would last for 10 seconds. With time, the frequency of the seizures increased to five or six times a day and the duration to one minute. The child also developed a squint in the left eye.
When parents noticed that Grace was having abnormal laughter for no obvious reason or cause, they took her to the hospital where she was diagnosed with gelastic seizures.
A team of doctors including a neurosurgeon, neurophysician, as well as paediatrics and endocrinologists tested the child and performed the surgery after conducting magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and other tests.
Dr Ramesh S., a consultant neurosurgeon and minimal access brain and spine surgeon at Kamineni Hospitals, said that they found a sub-centimetre size lesion (tumour) in a portion of her brain and started on anti-seizure medications.

"A common cause of gelastic epilepsy is a small tumour in the hypothalamus (a portion of the brain). The majority of such tumours are benign. Child with hypothalamic hamartomas (noncancerous growth in the hypothalamus) usually has gelastic seizures, cognitive malfunction, behavioural disorder", Dr Ramesh said.

"Early identification, proper diagnosis and management would help children to have a better outcome", Dr Ramesh added.
After thorough counselling with the parents, the child underwent the surgery through a minimally invasive manner and the frequency of seizures significantly went down.
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