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Berkovic, Samuel F; Arzimanoglou, Alexis; Kuzniecky, Ruben; Harvey, A Simon; Palmini, Andre; Andermann, Frederick
"Hypothalamic hamartoma and seizures: a treatable epileptic encephalopathy"
Epilepsia 2003 Jul; 44(7):969-973
Hypothalamic hamartomas may be associated with gelastic seizures, focal seizures, and a generalized epileptic encephalopathy, with severe seizures and cognitive and behavior decline. Despite earlier views to the contrary, good evidence now exists that all these clinical features are caused, directly or indirectly, by the hamartoma. Resection of these lesions was long regarded as too hazardous and unlikely to benefit seizure control. It is now clear that hypothalamic hamartomas can be effectively treated with a variety of surgical approaches with sustained seizure control and often seizure freedom. Qualitative observations suggest that behavior and cognition also improve with treatment, but quantitative validation is required. The specific approach should be tailored according to the surgical anatomy of the lesion and the experience of the surgeon. Choices include a transcallosal approach (good for intraventricular lesions), a pterional approach (useful for interpeduncular lesions), a transventricular endoscopic approach, or destruction of the lesion with radiofrequency probes or gamma knife radiosurgery. The previously dismal outlook for children with severe seizures associated with this lesion has now dramatically changed. These insights may have implications for other epileptic encephalopathies of childhood

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