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RNS

New surgery tried for Nationwide Children’s epilepsy patient

Elizabeth Szasz is 12 years old but is unable to lead the typical life of a middle schooler. She was diagnosed with epilepsy as a baby and has tried several treatments for her life-threatening seizures. Each new treatment would work for a short time. But her seizures, which can last longer than two hours would return. Her parents say they felt hopeless.

Silicon Valley firm’s implant helps stop brain seizures

Imagine a seismograph — the instrument that measures and records earthquakes and volcanic eruptions — for your brain. Except this one has a wireless link to a device implanted in your head that stops epileptic seizures at their source, halting the sudden and violent attacks before they happen. It’s not science fiction.

Study shows continuous electrical stimulation suppresses seizures in patients with epilepsy

When surgery and medication don’t help people with epilepsy, electrical stimulation of the brain has been a treatment of last resort. Unfortunately, typical approaches, such as vagal nerve stimulation or responsive nerve stimulation, rarely stop seizures altogether. But a new Mayo Clinic study in JAMA Neurology shows that seizures were suppressed in patients treated with continuous electrical stimulation. Epilepsy is a central nervous system disorder in which nerve cell activity in the brain becomes disrupted. In the study, 13 patients with drug-resistant epilepsy were deemed unsuitable for resective surgery, which removes a portion of the brain — usually about the size of a golf ball — that was causing seizures. When patients are evaluated for surgery, a grid of electrical contacts ...

New Wearable EEG!

Researchers have developed a wearable electroencephalogram (EEG) device that can detect and record seizure activity in epilepsy patients in the outpatient setting, they reported on Monday at the annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society in Philadelphia. The so-called EEG Patch, a small, waterproof, scalp-mounted device, was designed to help patients more accurately track their seizures, Mark Lehmkuhle, PhD, a research assistant professor in neurosurgery at the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City, who presented the findings at the meeting, told the Neurology Today Conference Reporter ahead of the session.   The EEG Patch is designed to be fixed to a part of the patient’s scalp where seizures are known to originate based on EEG recorded in-hospital during a traditio...

VNS technology could help improve lives of people recovering from stroke

A new study involving UT Dallas researchers shows that vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) technology could help improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who suffer weakness and paralysis caused by strokes. The study, published in the journal Stroke, marks the first time that VNS has been tested in individuals recovering from stroke. VNS already has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for certain illnesses, such as depression and epilepsy. It involves sending a mild electric pulse through the vagus nerve, which is in the neck. Stimulating this nerve relays information about the state of the body to the brain and encourages it to reorganize in a process called neural plasticity.

Neurostimulation in epilepsy: New techniques, new promises

“Despite the advent of new pharmacological treatments and the high success rate of many surgical treatments for epilepsy, a substantial number of patients do not become seizure-free or experience major adverse events. This fact is an important motivation to investigate and develop novel therapeutic approaches,” said Prof Paul Boon from Ghent University Hospital (Belgium), Chairperson of the EAN Congress Programme Committee, at the 1st Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) in Berlin. More than 6,500 experts from around the world are discussing the latest developments in their field from 20 to 23 June 2015 in the German capital city. “While neurostimulation-based treatments have already been gaining considerable interest for some time, among the recent develop...

Reducing epileptic seizures with deep brain stimulation

As her Emory doctors told Paula Moreland how they were proposing to treat her seizures, her eyes grew wide. Moreland’s mother, who was with her at the appointment, said, “Just listen to them, babe.” A surgeon would implant an electrical stimulation device deep within her brain. The device would deliver current to calm the storms of signals that would sometimes erupt and cause her to lose consciousness. Moreland had already seen several neurologists and tried a variety of anti-seizure drugs. At one point, she was taking seven different medications. “They didn’t seem to work, and they made me sick,” she says. “I went to talk with one doctor, and he threw up his hands. It was like he was saying, ‘I give up.’ ” Epilepsy seemed to have...

Direct brain responsive neurostimulator reduces seizures, improves quality of life

Piotr Olejniczak, MD, PhD, LSU Health New Orleans Professor of Neurology and Director of the Epilepsy Center, contributed to a study of the long-term effectiveness of the first direct brain responsive neurostimulator for partial onset, or focal, seizures that cannot be controlled with medication. The study found that responsive direct cortical stimulation reduces seizures and improves quality of life over an average of 5.4 years. The study is published in the February 24, 2015, issue of the journal, Neurology. The results are part of the Long-Term Treatment (LTT) Study, an ongoing seven-year multicenter prospective open-label study to evaluate the long-term efficacy and safety of the RNS® System. The technology, FDA-approved for adults with focal (in one part of the brain) seizures, contin...

RNS – The “Smart Implant” that Helps Control Epilepsy

Since 2007, Hood had suffered from debilitating seizures that a powerful mix of medications couldn’t control. Hood, 47, is one of the first people in the nation to get a new device implanted in her brain that monitors for signs of seizures and sends impulses directly to the source to quiet the storm. Before undergoing brain surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in April, Hood suffered seizure activity as often as five times a day. Now she experiences two or three auras a month that end before a full seizure begins. “I feel it coming on very faintly and then it stops,” she said. The NeuroPace RNS System is a “smart device” that monitors the brain’s activity, interprets the signals and provides stimulation when needed for patients’ intractable seizures. Th...

Cyberonics hopes to sell new new version of VNS in 2015

Houston-based Cyberonics officials Thursday said the company could begin selling a more innovative version of its VNS (Vagus Nerve Stimulator), nerve-stimulating device to treat epilepsy as early as next spring, pending federal approval. President and CEO Dan Moore told analysts during Cyberonics’ quarterly earnings call he is hopeful the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which regulates medical devices, will be satisfied with clinical trial results showing safety and effectiveness of the product, which is being used in Europe. However, the agency could require more testing, he said. “I feel good about the two trials we’ve done,” said Moore, who released financial results for the company’s 2015 fiscal year second quarter, ending Oct. 24. “There’s ...

First RNS Patient in the South Doing Well 30 Days Later

Neurologists implant neurostimulator in brain to control seizures It has been 30 days since neurologists at the University of Alabama at Birmingham turned on the neurostimulator implanted in Sarah Conner’s brain to control her seizures. In that short time, she can already say, “I’m doing pretty good.” Conner, 24, has suffered from seizures for 10 years. In June, she became the first patient in the Southeast to receive a new device called a responsive neurostimulator since its approval by the Federal Drug Administration last year. UAB neurosurgeon Kristen Riley, M.D., implanted the RNS system, developed by NeuroPace, into Conner’s brain. It includes an electrical generator, about the size of a flash drive, which is implanted in the skull. Electrodes are run to ...

NEW THERAPY: (TMS) NON-INVASIVE MAGNETIC BRAIN STIMULATION

Researchers demonstrate neuronal effects of novel treatment method for neurological diseases

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