Northwell Health's Comprehensive Epilepsy Center Enrolling Patients in MRI-Guided Laser Ablation Clinical Trial


Northwell Health is testing laser ablation for temporal lobe epilepsy.

MANHASSET, NY — Doctors at Northwell Health’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center have begun enrolling patients in the Stereotactic Laser Ablation for Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (SLATE) clinical trial designed to further expand the use of Medtronic’s Visualase® MRI-Guided Laser Ablation System.

The Visualase system has already been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in neurosurgery, but is considered an investigational device for people with drug-resistant mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE), the most common form of epilepsy. The purpose of this multi-centered clinical trial is to test the safety and efficacy of the Visualase System for treatment of people with MTLE.

“Laser ablation technology is useful in patients with MTLE, where there is a loss of neurons and scarring of the deepest portion of the temporal lobe,” Ashesh Mehta, MD, PhD, (photo) Northwell Health’s director, epilepsy surgery and principal investigator of the study at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, a member of Northwell Health. “This scarring is often the cause for seizures that cannot be controlled by medications alone. Laser ablation allows the neurosurgeon to simultaneously deliver and monitor the thermal energy while the patient undergoes MRI imaging.”

In this minimally invasive procedure, the laser probe is inserted into the brain through a one-quarter inch incision and delivers energy produced by the laser to heat and destroy the diseased, seizure-producing tissue deep within the brain. The treatment is focused and MRI temperature maps provide the neurosurgeon with a real-time view of the diseased tissue being destroyed, without damaging healthy tissue. The laser probe is then removed and the incision is closed.

Participants in the SLATE trial will be followed for one year after their laser ablation procedure and evaluated for seizures, other adverse events, neuropsychological outcomes and quality of life.

For more information about the SLATE trial at Northwell Health’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, call 516-325-7061.

About Northwell Health

Northwell Health is New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, with 21 hospitals and over 550 outpatient facilities. We care for more than two million people annually in the metro New York area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 61,000 employees — 15,000+ nurses and nearly 3,400 physicians, including nearly 2,700 members of Northwell Health Physician Partners -- are working to change health care for the better. We’re making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institute. We're training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine and the School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. And we offer health insurance through CareConnect. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit

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