Emerging surgical therapies in the treatment of pediatric epilepsy
In the approximately 1% of children affected by epilepsy, pharmacoresistance and early age of seizure onset are strongly correlated with poor cognitive outcomes, depression, anxiety, developmental delay, and impaired activities of daily living. These children often require multiple surgical procedures, including invasive diagnostic procedures with intracranial electrodes to identify the seizure-onset zone. The recent development of minimally invasive surgical techniques, including stereotactic electroencephalography (SEEG) and MRI-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy (MRgLITT), and new applications of neurostimulation, such as responsive neurostimulation (RNS), are quickly changing the landscape of the surgical management of pediatric epilepsy. In this review, the authors discuss these various technologies, their current applications, and limitations in the treatment of pediatric drug-resistant epilepsy, as well as areas for future research. The development of minimally invasive diagnostic and ablative surgical techniques together with new paradigms in neurostimulation hold vast potential to improve the efficacy and reduce the morbidity of the surgical management of children with drug-resistant epilepsy.