I had brain surgery at the CCF in 1990 which was completely successful. At the time, research on auras was just beginning and not a lot was known about them. I have been free of full blown seizures for over 8 years now but still continue to experience auras about twice a year. I am taking 400 mg of Tegretol XR twice a day. I am going to try to gradually reduce my tegretol beginning in July when I have my appointment with my neurologist. My ultimate goal is to be able to greatly reduce my meds ( I know I will probably never be able to go completely off of it) before I begin to have children. My question is this: According to the updated research on auras and the frequency of which I have them, what are the possibilities of my being able to reduce my tegretol, by how much, and still be free of full blown seizures? Or better yet, free of any seizure activity? What has the latest research on auras discovered?
Thank you so much!
Auras are thought to be a very minimal and limited type of seizures. The persistence of auras after surgery for epilepsy probably means that the areas that may produce seizures are disconnected from the rest of the brain, and therefore the risk of recurrent seizures is minimal (but it is still there).
Your auras seem to be very infrequent, which is a good sign, but there is no definite research correlating a certain frequency of auras and the risk of seizure recurrence.
The issue of stopping the medication (tegretol) is little bit tougher because there are no clear answers. I would suggest that you check with your Cleveland Clinic Epileptologist before you take any decision about stopping your medication (an EEG test may be needed).
I hope my answers are of help to you and I am happy to hear about another successful epilepsy surgery from the Cleveland Clinic.