Neurosurgery: Electrodes in the Brain

For the most dramatic form of epilepsy, the grand mal that throws its victims to the ground in fits, drugs often offer dramatic relief. Strangely, it is a less violent form of the disorder, the so-called psychomotor type, for which drugs do least. For some 50% of psychomotor epileptics, or at least 160,000 Americans, surgery is the only recourse. But in many cases surgeons hesitate to cut out those parts of the brain in which electrical impulses are misfiring and causing all the trouble. For if they cut out too much tissue...