Last Updated: November 17, 2019
The estimated prevalence of epilepsy in North America is 5 to 10 cases per 1,000 people. It is also estimated that approximately one-third of patients with epilepsy fail to achieve adequate seizure control by means of antiepileptic drugs or are unable to tolerate the side effects required to do so. A large body of evidence indicates that failing to adequately control seizures impairs cognition, decreases overall quality of life, and increases mortality compared with age-matched controls.
Medical intervention is the first step in treating epilepsy. Despite treatment with various antiepileptic drugs, medical therapy fails to achieve seizure freedom in up to one-third of patients. In a subset of patients who do not respond to medical therapy, surgical evaluation is appropriate. Approximately 5 to 10% of the population with epilepsy have uncontrolled seizures. This translates to 100,000 patients with epilepsy in the United States who are potential surgical candidates, with an additional 5,000 to 10,000 patients added annually; however, only a small fraction of this population actually are...