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Treatments

LivaNova Launches Study to Assess VNS Therapy in Drug-resistant Epilepsy Patients

September 12, 2018:  LivaNova PLC announced the first implanted patient and official launch of a global registry to evaluate the use of LivaNova’s Vagus Nerve Stimulation Therapy® (VNS Therapy) System for patients with drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE), which affects nearly one in three people with epilepsy.1 The Comprehensive Outcomes Registry in Subjects with Epilepsy Treated with VNS Therapy (CORE-VNS) study will enroll up to 2,000 patients with five-year follow-up data, yielding one of the largest data sets in the world for DRE patients treated with various generations of VNS Therapy. Data from CORE-VNS will contribute to the body of research related to this disease state and advance the science behind VNS Therapy by evaluating the safety, effectiveness and clinical outcomes for patients. ...

Study Identifies Brain Cells Responsible for Memory-Based Decision Making

The witness on the stand says he saw the accused at the scene of the crime. Is he sure? How sure? The jury’s verdict could hinge on that level of certainty. Many decisions we make every day are influenced by our memories and the confidence we have in them. But very little is known about how we decide whether we can trust a memory or not. A new Cedars-Sinai study provides some of the answers. Researchers have identified a unique set of neurons in the medial temporal lobe, an area of the brain where memories and memory-based decisions are processed. They show that the activity of these neurons is indicative of the confidence by which a memory will be retrieved. Findings are published in the June 8 online issue of Nature Neuroscience. “The mechanisms that help us make confidence j...

Perampanel for epilepsy: Still no proof of added benefit

Fycompa has not been approved by the FDA as an add-on therapy for seizures because additional benefit has yet to be proven. From MedicalXpress: The drug perampanel (trade name Fycompa) has been approved since July 2012 as adjunctive (“add-on”) therapy for adults and children aged 12 years and older with epileptic fits (seizures). In a new early benefit assessment according to the Act on the Reform of the Market for Medicinal Products (AMNOG), the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) examined whether perampanel offers an added benefit over the appropriate comparator therapy. However, such an added benefit cannot be derived from the new dossier either, as the drug manufacturer did not submit any relevant data for this comparison. Already in the first...

Light-sensitive molecule enables noninvasive silencing of neurons

New light-sensitive protein enables simpler, more powerful optogenetics Optogenetics, a technology that allows scientists to control brain activity by shining light on neurons, relies on light-sensitive proteins that can suppress or stimulate electrical signals within cells. This technique requires a light source to be implanted in the brain, where it can reach the cells to be controlled. MIT engineers have now developed the first light-sensitive molecule that enables neurons to be silenced noninvasively, using a light source outside the skull. This makes it possible to do long-term studies without an implanted light source. The protein, known as Jaws, also allows a larger volume of tissue to be influenced at once. This noninvasive approach could pave the way to using optogenetics in human...

Easing Epilepsy With Battery Power

For most of his life, Kevin Ramsey has lived with epileptic seizures that drugs cannot control. At least once a month, he would collapse, unconscious and shaking violently, sometimes injuring himself. Nighttime seizures left him exhausted at dawn, his tongue a bloody mess. After episodes at work, he struggled to stay employed. Driving became too risky. At 28, he sold his truck and moved into his mother’s spare bedroom. Cases of intractable epilepsy rarely have happy endings, but today Mr. Ramsey is seizure-free. A novel battery-powered device implanted in his skull, its wires threaded into his brain, tracks its electrical activity and quells impending seizures. At night, he holds a sort of wand to his head and downloads brain data from the device to a laptop for his doctors to review. “I’m...