-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- Aging accelerates
brain-structure abnormalities in people with childhood-onset
temporal-lobe epilepsy, a new study says.
Temporal-lobe epilepsy is the most common type of partial
epilepsy, with about 60 percent of all epilepsy patients having
this form of the disease.
Previous research suggests that people with childhood-onset
epilepsy have significant mental and developmental problems that
continue into adulthood, particularly in those who don't respond to
Prior studies also have found that patients with temporal-lobe
epilepsy have structural abnormalities in many areas of the brain.
But there is limited knowledge about how aging affects these
In the study, researchers from the University of
Wisconsin-Madison used MRI to examine the brains of 55 patients
with chronic temporal-lobe epilepsy and 53 people without epilepsy.
The participants were aged 14 to 60.
The brain scans revealed that the epilepsy patients had more
brain-structure abnormalities than healthy people, and that these
abnormalities were more extensive in older epilepsy patients.
"Patients with epilepsy are burdened with significant neurodevelopmental challenges due to these cumulative brain abnormalities," Bruce Hermann, professor of neuropsychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said in a news release. "The consequences of these anatomical changes for epilepsy patients as they progress into elder years remain unknown, and further study of the adverse effects in those of older chronological age is needed."
The study appears in the journal
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about
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