Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Elisabeth’s trip to the neurologist

Elisabeth's brain at birth. The black is the fluid and the lighter gray is the brain tissue. Notice how the fluid has pushed the brain out towards the skull.

Elisabeth's brain at 8 weeks. Once again, black is fluid and gray is brain tissue. Much of the fluid has been drained and the brain has spread out a little. There is still a great amount of fluid remaining in the ventricles - a normal head would have about 1/4 the amount shown in the picture above.

We took Elisabeth to meet Dr. Reggin, her neurologist, this afternoon in Spokane. First of all he confirmed that she is epileptic. After having her initial 2 seizures on November 5th, we had gotten her on phenobarbital to control them. It had worked well and we had not seen anymore seizure activity until this past week when she had multiple episodes. So now we have her on a new medication and are going to hope for the best :)

Next he went over her MRI's with us. It was amazing to get a good look at what's been going on inside Elisabeth's head. At birth her ventricles were extremely large and Dr. Reggin said that she was a severe case of hydrocephalus. Her scan at 8 weeks showed that the shunt had done a good job of draining the fluid, though the ventricles are still very large. We continued to talk with him about everything from the absence of the corpus callosum to the chance that her brain might not grow (depending on how it was damaged). Unfortunately we had to hear a lot more of, "we just have to wait and see". There is no way of knowing exactly how everything will play out. We are still hoping that her stem cells will repair damage......especially in the occipital region so that she can regain her eye sight. But for now we will hope she continues meeting her developmental milestones and enjoy watching her grow and learn.

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