Man cured after brain surgery removes tumor causing 250 seizures monthly
The surgeons used new, minimally invasive laser-surgery techniques to burn out the tumor in his brain
PHOENIX, Ariz. — After 24 years of persistent and debilitating seizures that made sleep near impossible, Chris Murto — an Arizona resident — is pursuing the independent life he always dreamed of thanks to the surgeons at Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. Up until two months ago, a tumor in the area of his brain considered too risky for surgery was causing up to 250 seizures a month.
“At one point, I was having a seizure every few minutes,” said Murto. “It’s impossible to explain the amount of pain I was experiencing.” Around one out of every 200,000 people is affected by hypothalamic hamartoma(HH) tumors. While they are considered benign, HH tumors can lead to extensive cognitive damage due to years of gelastic seizures.
"The cells are like a little pacemaker that fires abnormal signals and cause a rare kind of gelastic seizure," Peter Nakaji, M.D., Chris’ neurosurgeon at Barrow, told ABC News. "A small child can explode with laughter even when you look in their eyes and can tell they are not happy; it's quite creepy.”