Tuberous sclerosis complex is often associated with medically refractory epilepsy secondary to cortical tubers. Previous studies have identified an association between early seizure onset, greater seizure burden, and mental retardation in childhood. Early effective seizure control could therefore significantly reduce the adverse developmental effects of chronic epilepsy in tuberous sclerosis complex. In medically intractable epileptic patients, surgical treatment has been demonstrated to reduce or abolish seizures and the associated burden for the child and its environment. Epilepsy surgery has not been widely used in patients with tuberous sclerosis complex thus far, mostly because of the concern that the multifocal nature of the cortical lesions could be associated with the development of independent epileptogenic zones. Advances in electroencephalographic techniques, functional neuroimaging, and invasive cortical mapping are changing this view and allowing an increased number of tuberous sclerosis complex patients to be evaluated for resective surgery. Additional techniques emerging in the neurosurgical field may add further treatment options to the current state of the art.
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|Published - 1 Oct 2004