The corpus callosum is a band of nerve fibers that connects the left and right hemispheres of the brain. A corpus callosotomy is a surgery that severs the corpus callosum, therefore preventing nerve impulses from being transmitted between the hemispheres. Now you're probably wondering what kind of surgeon would do such a thing. A mad scientist, or perhaps an extensive research laboratory? Actually, this isn't quite the case. While this is an extreme surgical procedure, corpus callosotomies are used in the treatment of severe, debilitating cases of epilepsy that generally don't respond to medical treatment. When seizures occur in both hemispheres of the brain, the seizures can be very dangerous and difficult to manage. If medications don't prevent the seizures, this procedure may be the only option to prevent seizures being transmitted throughout hemispheres. While a corpus callosotomy is not the best option, the surgery is generally effective, and has very few side effects. While the surgery is effective, it does not stop the seizures all together, and the patient will still need to take anti-seizure medications. Also, when the hemispheres are split, there are sometimes difficulties with the patients being able to find the words for some objects.
The splitting of the brain: Corpus Callosotomy
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