Monday, March 26, 2012

Epilepsy hope offered by new diagnostic system

New hope: Sohban Mahmood undergoing telemetry monitoring at Sheffield Children s Hospital.

New hope: Sohban Mahmood undergoing telemetry monitoring at Sheffield Children s Hospital.

A SCHOOLBOY from Sheffield who suffers from epilepsy so severe he needs round-the-clock supervision is pinning his hopes on a groundbreaking new diagnostic procedure. Sohban Mahmood, aged 12, from City Road, Norfolk Park, has lived with the brain condition since the age of five, suffering as many as 11 debilitating seizures a day. The Heritage Park Community School pupil cannot even walk down the street alone in case he has a fit - meaning he is totally reliant on the vigilance of his family.

Now Sohban has become one of the first patients to undergo a new procedure at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, to see whether brain surgery could change his life. The youngster underwent a four-day monitoring period, in which telemetry equipment - available in only a few hospitals in the country - recorded his every move.

Doctors simultaneously studied electrical activity in his brain and the video recording of his movement. They hope their findings will allow them to see which part of his brain contributes to the seizures, which means medics will be able to plan accurate brain surgery.

Around 80 per cent of epileptic children who have surgery end up being seizure-free.

Sohban’s mum Ruksana, a nursery nurse and mum to three other children, said: “Ever since birth, he’s had blackouts, shaking episodes and full fits.

“If the seizures were controlled it would give Sohban and our family more sense of relief.”

The treatment is now to be made available to more children, and the hospital has secured its second telemetry bed.

Clinical physiologist Sheila Seville said: “Because tests are so time-consuming, having the facilities to run two telemetry recordings at the same time will greatly improve the service we offer.”

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