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A young boy had a lesion or benign tumor in his hypothalamus which caused him to suffer from frequent daily seizures which required him to take many medications and greatly affected his quality of life. He had to be taken to the hospital many times to receive valium to stop the seizures. The condition is extremely rare and possibly genetic condition - one in a million people. 50% of cases get misdiagnosed. The boy's symptoms started with gelastic or laughing seizures when he was an infant where he appeared to be laughing hysterically and then he would become full of rage. The lesion on his brain was so small that it was difficult to detect on an MRI. By the time he was diagnosed, he suffered from about three severe seizures a day which caused him to shake uncontrollably and sometimes lose consciousness. The boy then had his lesion removed in an operation which is probably only the fifteenth in the world of its kind. It involved using a small claw mechanism on a wire inserted through a small hole in his skull to remove the lesion. The boy's seizures stopped but he is still on anti-seizure medication for a while until the brain's behavior patterns adjust.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by The Columbian
About: Rare surgery changes boys life
Date: 10 January 2005
Source: The Columbian
Author: Ken Olsen
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