Device Helps Epilepsy Patients

A  patient at Houston Methodist suffering from years of seizures that prevented the patient from working had a small battery-powered device implanted in his skull to control seizures.

When seizures do not respond to medications, patients are diagnosed with refractory epilepsy. Most patients with refractory epilepsy as a treatment option undergo surgery to remove the area of the brain that is causing seizures.

However, in this case, the patient suffered from seizures originating on both sides of the brain and therefore was not a candidate for the surgery. After surgery, he would have been left with no memory.

The Responsive Neurostimulation System or (RNS System), treats patients with refractory epilepsy by continually observing and recording brain activity. This is accomplished by recognizing abnormal signals, and then the system produces small electrical pulses to stabilize brain activity and help stop seizures before physical symptoms appear.

Developed by Neuropace, the system consists of a neurostimulator implanted into the skull along with a remote that allows the patient to wirelessly collect information for his physician. Once the device is turned on, it logs valuable data to allow the physician to track a patient’s treatment.

According to the patient’s mother, her son’s medication doses have been reduced, he now experiences increased energy levels and improved memory. Currently, he rarely has seizures and if he does have a seizure, the seizure doesn’t last as long and isn’t nearly as severe as before the surgery.

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