Conference "Epilepsy for the Medical Practitioner"
On October 6 and 7 "Epilepsy for the Medical Practitioner" сonference supported by the EMC Medical School of Post- Graduate Medical Education was held in the Conference Hall of the EMC Multi-disciplinary Hospital in Shchepkina Street, where the leading Russian and foreign neurosurgeons made their presentations.
Epilepsy, which is manifested by sudden seizures, is one of the most common neurological diseases in humans. Recently, even in complex cases where epilepsy is caused by extensive brain tumors, it has been possible to save people from seizures using surgical treatment. Epilepsy, its forms, causes, diagnosis and treatment was discussed at the Conference.
The European Medical Center was not an accidental choice as a venue for the event. Not so long ago, Professor Alexey Krivoshapkin, a renowned neurosurgeon, became the Head of Neurosurgery Department at the EMC Clinic of Neurology and Neurosurgery. Together with his colleagues he will develop neurosurgery in EMC, where the treatment of epilepsy has become one of priorities. The European Medical Center has everything required to conduct effective operations on the brain. Operating theaters have all the necessary equipment, including intraoperative monitoring systems that are used not only to monitor the blood pressure, heart rate, breathing of the patient, but also to display a 3D image of the operated area. It enables locating and assessment of brain structures, nerve endings and blood vessels. Another advantage of the EMC is an in-house laboratory, including a morphological lab, where tissues removed during the operation can be tested rapidly. The radiodiagnosis service is available 24 hours a day, all the necessary research, including computer and magnetic-resonance tomography can be performed urgently. This is beneficial for the development of neurosurgery in the EMC, in particular, the surgical treatment of epilepsy, and still more so, considering that experts with extensive experience in conducting such operations have joined the team of doctors of the Clinic of Neurology and Neurosurgery. Speaking at the Conference, Professor Krivoshapkin gave several examples of tumors removals that saved lives, moreover the patients were freed of seizures completely for many years. Modern neurosurgery technologies enable the removal of the most aggressive tumors like glioblastoma. Professor Krivoshapkin mentioned a clinical case from his practice in which after radical removal of the tumor, the patient lived for 12 years with a good quality of life.
Other neurosurgeons also made their presentations at the Conference as invited speakers. Professor David I. Pitskhelauri of Burdenko Neurosurgery Institute presented an invention of the Institute, a device for hands-free positioning and adjustment of the surgical microscope, just by nodding the head.
Specialists from Germany spoke at the Conference as well. The Head of the Department of neurosurgery, of University Medical Center Freiburg Dr. Josef Zentner described the foreign experience of epilepsy surgical treatment, and his colleague, Professor Andreas Schulze-Bonhage MD, Head of the Epilepsy Center at the University Hospital Freiburg focused on the pre-surgery monitoring in children and adults. By the way, the University Clinic of Freiburg (UniKlinik Freiburg), the EMC Medical School and Group of Companies European Medical Center signed an agreement on strategic cooperation, and this has been the second joint training course, the first one was held in April 2015, and was focused on management in radiology.
On the second day of the Conference the participants were offered a tour in EMC and reviewed clinical cases. Everyone had a chance to propose their options for the treatment of specific patients and discuss them with specialists of authority.
Surgical treatment of epilepsy is not the only area of neurosurgery, to be actively developed in the EMC. The purchase of the new equipment has already begun, on which any complex operations can be performed. E.g. a state-of-the-art radiosurgery particle accelerator as well as an amino acid based PET radiotracer will soon be installed. Besides, the EMC and specialists of Skolkovo collaborate to improve the so-called 5-ALA fluorescence technology for the intraoperative detection of malignant tumor boundaries. All this enables successful treatment of patients with cancer.
Another important area is the development of bloodless surgery. Today even in case of removing aggressive “well-fed” tumors blood loss can be reduced to 50 ml and less.
Along with the treatment of oncology diseases and epilepsy, the EMC is planning to develop spinal surgery, microsurgery of vessels, as well as surgical treatment of brain injuries and strokes.
Closing the Conference, Dr. Alexey L. Krivoshapkin stressed that high-tech medicine (and modern neurosurgery is part of it) is, first of all, the medicine, which is impossible without international connections, and therefore the EMC specialists will continue their close communication with their foreign colleagues and exchange best practices regularly.