Nitin Tandon, UTHealth neurosurgeon and director of Epilepsy Surgery at the Memorial Hermann Mischer Neuroscience Institute at the Texas Medical Center, USA, has successfully implanted NeuroPace’s RNS system technology into a 36-year-old epilepsy patient to help reduce the frequency of seizures—the first time this procedure has been done at Memorial Hermann.
“Our patient was a severe case with a 10-year history of seizures that were uncontrollable, frequent and affecting both his left and right hippocampi and ultimately causing short-term memory loss,” Tandon explained.
Epilepsy is a common but chronic condition, and while many people can treat their seizures with medications, some 30–40% of patients are severely affected and experience uncontrolled, disabling seizures. The NeuroPace RNS system is the first closed-loop responsive brain stimulation to treat adults with partial onset seizures that cannot be controlled with antiepileptic medications.
The technology, approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2013, automatically provides treatment when it detects brain electrical activity that could lead to a seizure. The neurostimulator is placed under the scalp and into the skull, and its two leads are tailored to monitor brain activity specific to a patient while detecting patterns and delivering brief pulses of stimulation to help normalise before they experience seizures.
External components to the RNS system include a NeuroPace programmer and a NeuroPace remote monitor. These devices track and analyse the data stored in the neurostimulator to assist with ongoing patient treatment. On average, NeuroPace patients have seen a 50% reduction in seizures after the first year, and up to a 70% reduction by year two.
“NeuroPace’s two-lead system was a perfect solution for this patient, as it was essential that we monitor both sides of his brain activity,” added Tandon. “Just two months post-surgery, the patient has seen a significant reduction in the amount of seizures experienced and an added benefit of some improved cognitive ability. We are encouraged by these numbers and outcomes and excited for the future of this treatment for epilepsy, especially given the lack of other options in some of these cases.”