Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Unique nerve-stimulation treatment proves effective against drug-resistant epilepsy, study suggests

Date:
May 26, 2011
Source:
University of California - Los Angeles
Summary:
Researchers have developed a noninvasive, nonpharmaceutical treatment called trigeminal nerve stimulation to control epileptic seizures.

Medications are the mainstay of treatment for epilepsy, but for a considerable number of patients -- estimated to be as many as 1 million in the U.S. -- drugs don't work. These patients suffer from a type of epilepsy known as refractory or drug-resistant epilepsy, in which drugs can't control their seizures.

But at an epilepsy conference last month, Dr. Christopher DeGiorgio, a UCLA professor of neurology, presented the results of a non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical treatment that shows promise in controlling seizures.

In his talk at the Antiepileptic Drug Trials XI Conference in Miami, Fla., DeGiorgio reported the results of a Phase 2 clinical trial of a new treatment called trigeminal nerve stimulation (TNS). He noted that 40 percent of the patients receiving TNS treatment experienced a significant improvement in seizure reduction.

The external stimulator, which is about the size of a large cell phone, attaches to a belt or can slip into a pocket. Wires from the stimulator are passed under the clothing and connected to conductive pads attached to the forehead. The electrodes, which can be covered by a cap or scarf, transmit a signal to the trigeminal nerve, which extends into the brain from the face and forehead and is known to play a role in seizure inhibition.

"TNS offers potential benefits -- it can be delivered bilaterally (to both sides of the brain) and at high frequencies," DeGiorgio said. "Since the electrical energy does not travel directly into the brain, TNS provides a safe method of brain modulation."

The clinical trial showed that at the end of the 18-week study, 40 percent of patients receiving TNS experienced a significant improvement in seizure reduction, which is defined as a 50 percent or greater decrease in the frequency of seizures.

"We showed that TNS works well, under stringent clinical-trial conditions. The fact that 40 percent showed a clinically-meaningful response is exciting," DeGiorgio said.

These results confirm and extend the findings of DeGiorgio's positive Phase 1 trial in epilepsy, reported in 2009 in the journal Neurology.

In addition, the researchers found that the TNS treatment also improved the mood of the participants. Since depression is a common problem in people with epilepsy, this finding could have significant impact on the quality of life of people who suffer from the disorder.

DeGiorgio, lead inventor of TNS, was the principal investigator for the Phase 2 study, which was conducted at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center and the University of Southern California.

"I'm encouraged to see that our non-invasive and safe approach to neuromodulation compares favorably to pharmaceutical and surgically implanted-device therapies of drug-resistant epilepsy," he said.

The research was funded by the Epilepsy Therapy Project; the Epilepsy Foundation; Boston Scientific; and the Milken Family Foundation. UCLA's Office of Intellectual Property executed an exclusive worldwide license for TNS with NeuroSigma, Inc., a Los Angeles-based medical technology company. DeGiorgio is a consultant with NeuroSigma but has no equity interest in the company.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Los Angeles. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - Los Angeles. "Unique nerve-stimulation treatment proves effective against drug-resistant epilepsy, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110525164105.htm>.
University of California - Los Angeles. (2011, May 26). Unique nerve-stimulation treatment proves effective against drug-resistant epilepsy, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110525164105.htm
University of California - Los Angeles. "Unique nerve-stimulation treatment proves effective against drug-resistant epilepsy, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110525164105.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
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