FDA Approves Alternative Epilepsy Treatment

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced its approval for an implantable device that decreases the number of seizures for patients with drug-resistant epilepsy.

The device, called an RNS Stimulator, is manufactured by Neuropace in Mount View, Calif. It is implanted in the skull where the neurostimulator detects abnormal brain activity before the patient experiences seizure symptoms. When the neurostimulator detects abnormal brain activity, it delivers electrical stimulation to the source to normalize it, according to a news release by the FDA.

In a randomized control trial of patients with drug-resistant epilepsy, patients with an activated stimulator saw a 38 percent reduction in number of seizures per month. Patients who had a deactivated stimulator only saw a 17 percent reduction.

However, the FDA warns that patients with RNS Stimulators cannot undergo procedures like magnetic resonance imaging procedures and transcranial magnetic stimulation, as the energy sent through the neurostimulator from these procedures could cause permanent brain damage.

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