100 Seizures a Day: Surgery Saves Boy’s Life

A new epilepsy study supports earlier surgery

Sam "Spike" Parrent 100 seizures a day

Sam “Spike” Parrent is a normal, happy and healthy 6-year-old boy living in North Carolina.

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You would never imagine by looking at him that just two years ago, Spike had been racked with epileptic seizures — up to 100 a day. At one point doctors were ready to put him in a coma. His parents were terrified Spike would die.

His frantic parents and doctors tried everything, from anti-seizure medications, to a brain biopsy, to a ketogenic diet designed to change his body’s chemistry.

Finally, in late 2011, Spike was referred to Cleveland Clinic for treatment. There doctors removed half his frontal lobe.

The seizures stopped

Spike’s last seizure was on November 9, 2011, the day of his final surgery at Cleveland Clinic.

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Spike’s story illustrates the new idea that early surgical intervention can stop epileptic seizures for children and adults with frontal lobe epilepsy. Many people with epilepsy wait to have surgery, only after years of taking medication.

However, a Cleveland Clinic study about early epilepsy surgery found that the earlier the frontal lobe surgery is done after the onset of epilepsy, the better the chance the patient has to be seizure-free for life.

Says neurologist Lara Jehi, MD, who led the study, “We have a chance with this surgery to really give people their life back.”

Read the ABC News story about Spike, Doctors Take Half Boy’s Brain to Stop 100 Seizures a Day.

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