Congratulations to Dr. Brett Youngerman on receiving the 2021 Young Investigator Award at AES 2021!
Last month, the 2021 Annual Meeting for the American Epilepsy Society took place in Chicago, IL. In attendance were epilepsy specialists from around the world and our very own, Dr. Brett Youngerman. Dr. Youngerman received the 2021 Young Investigator Award for his presentation titled “Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy for Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy: Multicenter Study in 268 Consecutively Treated Patients Including Outcomes of Subsequent Temporal Lobectomy for Seizure Recurrence”, a project he spearheaded closely with Columbia co-Faculty, Dr. Guy McKhann, and Neurosurgery Resident, Dr. Matei Banu.
Dr. Youngerman presented his research on Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy (LITT) as a minimally-invasive alternative to open surgical resection for mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (mTLE). The study pulled data from 11 institutions where LITT is being performed, making it the largest study to date to study the viability of LITT in the treatment of temporal lobe epilepsy. The results from the study showed, that after a median of about 4 years, patients treated with LITT exhibited a 50% freedom from seizure rate. This rate is not as impressive as the 60-80% range that is seen in the case of open surgery; however, a 50% freedom from seizure rate is still an enticing number for patients who would prefer this minimally invasive option. Dr. Youngerman also emphasized that another advantage of LITT is that it does not eliminate the option of open surgery further down the line. Therefore should LITT fail, the patient can still be a candidate for open surgery. This data encourages further studies on the usage of LITT as an option for patients who would prefer a minimally invasive procedure to open surgery.
Dr. Youngerman’s talk was also featured on The Neurology Today, an online news hub that aims to keep neurologists up to date and fully informed about the most noteworthy news from major professional meetings. Learn more about LITT and read the article here: Laser Treatment Shows Long-Term Benefit in Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy.
Congratulations, Dr. Youngerman!