NYU Langone’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center physicians were involved in clinical trials to test a device that stimulates nerves in the brain to help stop or control seizures. Doctors at the center then became the first to implant the device in a person with uncontrolled epilepsy outside of a clinical trial site.
This procedure, called responsive neurostimulation, may be an option for people older than age 18 who have poorly controlled focal epilepsy and are not candidates for other procedures.
The device is implanted in the skull along with electrodes. These detect irregular electrical brain activity associated with seizures. When an impending seizure is detected, the device sends an electrical signal to the area of the brain where the seizure is located, stopping it immediately.
Unlike a vagus nerve stimulator, the responsive neurostimulation device automatically detects a seizure when it happens. A doctor programs the system to detect and respond to abnormal electrical activity in the brain.
The person with the device uses a remote monitor to send data from the device to a cloud database, after which it is reviewed by the doctor. This helps the doctor better manage treatment.
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