Smart Woman: A New Device to Help Patients with Epilepsy

Published 02/22 2013 08:17PM

Updated 02/22 2013 08:23PM

    A Food and Drug Administration panel is weighing whether to recommend approval of a new device that could help some people with epilepsy control their seizures...

    Six years ago a group of patients tested a new device to reduce seizures. The Neuropace RNS System is implanted under the skin on the skull. It sends tiny electrical impulses to nerve cells in the brain to stop seizures before they happen. It is constantly looking for seizure patterns and then treating. It's on all day and night, instead of being an on-off type of device. The device can be reprogrammed even after it's been implanted in the brain. A special laptop collects information about the patient's brain activity and doctors then use that data to make any necessary changes.

    To gather that information the patient holds a wand over their implant and uses a computer at home to sent it to their doctor about every 2 weeks. The patient could see milder symptoms and fewer seizures.

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