Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Implantable Device Reduces Seizures In Epileptic Patients

A new research article published February 18, 2013 shows a medical device company recently received funding from a branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct a new two-Phase clinical trial for an internally-implanted electronic device that may help treat epilepsy.
NeuroSigma Inc., the company behind the device, is basing the new trial on evidence of another similar device, an electronic patch that has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression by up to 50 percent. That device, the non-invasive external trigeminal nerve stimulation (eTNS) system, was implemented in a randomized controlled trial reported online in the January 30, 2013 issue of the journal Neurology.
The eTNS system, which is worn on the forehead while patients sleep, is connected via wires to a battery pack and sends stimulating signals to nerves under the skin that feed deep inside the brain to key regions associated with mood. The trial showed to cause a 50 percent improvement in symptoms of people suffering from depression.
“The patch is placed on the skin above the eyebrows and stimulates the nerve under the skin. It generates pulses of very low current – it feels like a mild tingling,” device inventor Dr. Christopher DeGiorgio, a professor of neurology atUCLA, told The Telegraph.
A second small study also published in the journal Neurology, has found that the patch also helps patients suffering from epilepsy, apparently reducing the number of seizures they have by as much as 40 percent.
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