Case Study: Tristan Sudduth

Tuberous sclerosis complex, tonic-clonic seizures

Diagnosis: tuberous sclerosis complex, tonic-clonic seizures
Imaging: MEG and hgECoG
Treatment: resective surgery 
Result: seizure-free for 2 months


Bree Sudduth was a new mom, but her gut told her that her son, Tristan’s, jerks weren’t infantile spasms. With months of no answers and failed treatments, Bree woke up to a shaking bed as Tristan had a tonic-clonic seizure. After months of failing to find adequate care for Tristan, she turned to Le Bonheur.

There, Le Bonheur neuroscientists agreed resective surgery would be the best option for Tristan. “Tristan’s seizures failed to respond to numerous medications,” said Tristan’s Neurologist, Stephen Fulton, MD. “His likelihood of responding positively to surgery was much greater than our chances of success with further medical therapy. Our non-invasive imaging and brain mapping of his areas of seizure onset and brain function were critical in planning his surgical resection.”

Tristan underwent magnetoencephalography (MEG) testing to determine if seizures were located in the left frontal gyrus - an important area of the brain for language function. Because of the seizure location, neuroscientists wanted to be sure to preserve language function after the resection.

Tristan underwent high gamma electrocorticography (hgECoG) testing to determine the location of his language cortex, and testing concluded that there was no language cortex close to the tubers which needed to be resected. Abbas Babajani-Feremi, PhD, who conducted Tristan’s brain mapping, speculates that the cortical tuber caused the reorganization of Tristan’s brain.

Post-surgery, Tristan has been seizure free for two months – the longest amount of time in his life. He has no language deficit and is making rapid progress in his development. In addition, Tristan is the youngest person ever to undergo successful presurgical language mapping using hgECoG.

Tristan Sudduth MainWeb

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