What is the Brain Sentinel® Monitoring and Alerting System?
The Brain Sentinel® Monitoring and Alerting System (known as the SPEAC system) gathers accurate and comprehensive data about convulsive (clonic) seizures. This data helps physicians know the seizure frequencies of their patients, without merely relying on individual or eyewitness reports that may underestimate the true seizure frequency.
Why is a seizure detection system helpful?
Approximately one third of individuals with epilepsy are not controlled with medications, and close to 50% of all seizures occur at night. Additionally, some studies have shown that almost 9 out of 10 seizures that occur at night are not documented. In families where there is an individual with epilepsy, fear of nocturnal seizures often leads to co-sleeping. Hence, a system that detects seizures can offer a lot of benefits.
How does the SPEAC system work?
The SPEAC system is placed on the biceps to measure muscle activity through the skin, or skin electromyography (sEMG). This placement is reliable for detecting vigorous motor activity, such as what might occur during a convulsive seizure.
The system also provides audio recording of the event and a seizure diary for the person with epilepsy and their caregiver. The information is summarized and stored for interpretation by the physician.
Importantly, the system provides a real-time alarm in the event of a generalized convulsion. It can alert a designated caregiver who can provide immediate care. Therefore, it may minimize the risk of injury from a seizure.
How well does it work?
The SPEAC system is the first system cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for seizure monitoring that is not based on EEG (electroencephalography) data.
Data from 29 people with generalized tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizures identified by three independent epilepsy specialists revealed the system had 100% sensitivity for detecting seizures.
Who may benefit from the SPEAC system?
The indication of this system is as an adjunct to seizure monitoring in adults at home or health care facilities.
This device is useful for people who have convulsive or grand mal (clonic or tonic-clonic) seizures, especially at night or that often go unnoticed.
Since it relies primarily on vigorous muscle activity, but not on heart rate variability, skin conductance, or other physiologic markers, it is most helpful for motor seizures. It cannot determine focal seizures with alteration of consciousness that do not have a prominent motor component.