Hypothalamic Hamartoma Treatments

Surgical and Non-surgical Treatments

A variety of treatment options, including surgical and non-surgical treatments, are provided for patients by a multidisciplinary team of specialists at the Hypothalamic Hamartoma Center at North Shore-LIJ Health System's renowned Cushing Neuroscience Institute. Some treatments manage the symptoms, while others may resolve the condition. Treatment often begins with the least invasive option first, such as the use of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). However, the most promising treatments include surgical options such as microsurgical resection and stereotactic radiosurgery.
Hypothalamic Hamartoma Non-Surgical Treatments for Symptom Management
These non-invasive treatments include:
  • Anticonvulsant therapy. Seizure management through the use of anti-epileptic drugs is often the first strategy in the treatment of hypothalamic hamartoma. Common anti-epileptic drugs include valproic acid (Depakote®), levetiracetam (Keppra®), lamotrigine (Lamictal®), carbamazepine (Tegretol®, Carbatrol®), topiramate (Topamax®) and oxcarbazepine (Trileptal®). The use of these drugs for gelastic seizures is often ineffective, and may cause a variety of side effects that make their use undesirable.
  • Hormone suppressive therapy. Hormonal disturbances can be treated with medications such as leuprolide, often used to treat precocious puberty in both boys and girls. Precocious puberty begins before age 8 for girls and before age 9 for boys.

Hypothalamic Hamartoma Surgery Treatments
These surgical and non-invasive treatments include:

  • Microsurgical resection. Most hamartomas can be safely removed using computer-guided navigation to target the tumors for removal and neuroendoscopy. Small holes are made in both the skull and brain where the tumors are removed with an endoscopic device called a micromanipulator. Controlled by the physician and driven by computer, the micromanipulator allows the neurosurgeon to navigate through vessels and chambers in the brain in order to locate and remove the tumors. Surgical resection of the hamartomas can result in the patient having a chance of living a normal or very much improved life. With this type of hypothalamic hamartoma surgery, many patients experience a complete relief in seizures and behavioral abnormalities.
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery. This non-invasive hypothalamic hamartoma treatment is conducted without general anesthesia and has few side effects. Stereotactic radiosurgery uses sophisticated 3-D imaging to target tumors and deliver doses of radiation directly to the hypothalamic hamartoma tumor, and not to the surrounding healthy tissue. While it is not considered surgery because no incision is made, stereotactic radiosurgery is still done in a surgical setting.

Make an appointment at our Hypothalamic Hamartoma Center
Cushing Neuroscience Institute’s Hypothalamic Hamartoma Center makes it easy for you to take the first steps in ensuring the best neurological care for yourself or your family. Simply email us at neuro@nshs.edu, call us at (516) 570-4400 or 844-56Neuro (844-566-3876). You may also fill out our Request an Appointment form.