Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brain Implant Could Predict And Stop Epilepsy Seizures

Date:
July 30, 2007
Source:
Thomas Jefferson University
Summary:
An implanted stimulator being studied at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, may be able to predict and prevent seizures before they start in people with uncontrolled epilepsy. Researchers are enrolling patients in a study of the Responsive Neurostimulator System made by Neuropace, to determine if it is effective in stemming seizures. The system contains a computer chip that detects seizures and then delivers electric current to the brain to stop them.

An implanted stimulator being studied at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital may be able to predict and prevent seizures before they start in people with uncontrolled epilepsy.

Researchers at the Jefferson Comprehensive Epilepsy Center are enrolling patients in a study of the Responsive Neurostimulator System (RNS) made by Neuropace to determine if it is effective in stemming seizures. The system contains a computer chip that detects seizures and then delivers electric current to the brain to stop them.

“If it works as well as we hope, this device will be an exciting leap forward in the field,” said Michael Sperling, M.D., director of the Jefferson Comprehensive Epilepsy Center and the Baldwin Keyes Professor of Neurology, Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. “This is the first closed-loop system being used in humans designed to stop seizures.”

Earlier devices, such as a vagal nerve stimulator, gave out intermittent electrical stimulation to stop seizures, but never directly to the brain, explained Christopher Skidmore, M.D., principal investigator of the study at Jefferson. The RNS only delivers an electrical current when a seizure is detected and stimulation is needed.

More than two million people in the U.S. have epilepsy, the third most common neurological disorder in the country. Approximately 30 to 40 percent of people with epilepsy have seizures that cannot be controlled with medications, leaving many unable to work or drive.

Uncontrolled seizures related to epilepsy are generally treated with antiepileptic medications. However, many individuals treated with medication alone continue to experience seizures or medication side effects. Uncontrolled epilepsy can severely diminish quality of life and is often associated with increased rates of injury, depression, and death. Some people with severe epilepsy may be candidates for epilepsy surgery to remove the part of the brain that triggers the seizures, but this is not always feasible.

The RNS system is an implantable device designed to detect abnormal electrical activity in the brain and deliver small amounts of electrical stimulation in response. It is placed by a surgeon within the skull and beneath the scalp. The device is then connected to two wires containing electrodes that are placed within the brain or resting on the brain surface in the area of the seizure focus. By continuously monitoring brain electrical activity, after identifying the “signature” of a seizure’s onset, the device delivers brief electrical stimulations with the intention of suppressing the seizure before any symptoms occur.

An early study of the RNS system in 65 adults with medically uncontrolled epilepsy indicated that the device was safe.

As this is a controlled study, all study participants will receive the implant but only half of them will have the device activated in the initial phase. The others will have the device activated 16 weeks after surgery once the controlled phase is complete, said Dr. Sperling.

“Patients who have the device activated one month after surgery will be monitored weekly at the epilepsy center to tweak the chip’s programming for optimal performance,” Dr. Skidmore said.

Patients will also receive a device that is able to scan the chip for information about seizures just by holding a wand over the scalp, he said. The information can then be downloaded by the patient onto a computer and sent via telephone to epilepsy researchers to review.

Participants in the RNS study must be from 18 to 70 years of age and meet the following requirements:

  • have disabling (significant enough to impair functional abilities or day-to-day life activities) motor simple partial seizures, complex partial seizures and/or secondarily generalized seizures;
  • failed treatment with a minimum of two antiepileptic medications; and
  • experienced an average of three or more disabling seizures every 28 days for three consecutive periods prior to enrollment and have no more than two regions that induce seizures in the brain.

For more information or to participate in the study, please call 1-800-Jeff-now, 215-955-4672 or 1-866-904-6630.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Thomas Jefferson University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Thomas Jefferson University. "Brain Implant Could Predict And Stop Epilepsy Seizures." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 July 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070726142003.htm>.
Thomas Jefferson University. (2007, July 30). Brain Implant Could Predict And Stop Epilepsy Seizures. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070726142003.htm
Thomas Jefferson University. "Brain Implant Could Predict And Stop Epilepsy Seizures." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070726142003.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins