Patients of 50 years or older account for a small but significant portion of the patient population that receives surgical treatment for epilepsy. There have been few studies reporting surgical outcomes from temporal lobectomy in older patients. We examined seizure outcome and surgical complications after anterior temporal lobectomy for temporal lobe epilepsy with pathological evidence of unilateral hippocampal sclerosis. Two patient groups were compared in this study: patients 50 years or older (mean age 55.5 years old, n=16) and patients less than 50 years old (mean age 32.9 years old, n=184). After a minimum of one year follow up, younger patients (79.4%, n=146) were significantly more likely to be seizure-free (p=0.041) compared to older patients (56.3%, n=9). There was no significant difference (p=0.404) between the two age groups in the percentage of patients withdrawn from medication following surgery. Surgical complications were significantly higher in the older age group compared to the younger age group (p=0.009), although there was no permanent morbidity. Thus, while surgical treatment of temporal lobe epilepsy with unilateral hippocampal sclerosis is still beneficial in older patients who are refractory to medical therapy, surgical treatment should be considered at as early an age as possible, to maximize the chance for a better outcome with fewer complications.
Copyright © 2010 British Epilepsy Association. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.