At the recent American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting in New Orleans, USA, Neuroelectrics presented positive results from its clinical trial treating patients with drug resistant epilepsy with Starstim, a device that uses transcranial current stimulation to deliver mild electric currents to the scalp to calm abnormal activity of the brain.
Of the seventeen patients that completed the study, treatment with Neuroelectrics’ Starstim device resulted in a reduction in seizure frequency of at least 40% from baseline in 75% of the patients, measured eight weeks after treatment. Also, no device-related adverse events were reported during the study.
Neuroelectrics sponsored the FDA-approved investigational device study of its Starstim product at Boston Children’s Hospital, with adult patients being referred from nearby Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Boston, USA). A parallel study following the same protocol was conducted at the National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery in Mexico City.
All patients enrolled in the study had not responded to at least two anti-epileptic medications, and for many the next step would be brain surgery to resect the region of the brain where the seizures originate. The treatment protocol used 20 minutes of daily stimulation applied for 10 days times over two weeks, followed by an eight-week monitoring period to measure seizure frequency.
According to co-principal investigator Alexander Rotenberg, associate professor of neurology at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School: “We and our patients are delighted to have a non-invasive and non-pharmacologic option for those whose seizures have not been controlled by drugs or by surgery. Our patients and families have seen clear improvements in well-being and quality of life.”
According to a recent press release, of the sixty million patients living with epilepsy, nearly one in three do not have their seizures well controlled by medications. Neuroelectrics’ Starstim represents a non-surgical alternative for seizure control for many of these patients. In particular, this therapy has the potential to be used for both patients who are not candidates for epilepsy surgery, and patients who have undergone epilepsy surgery but continue to have seizures.
The Starstim device employs a form of non-invasive neuromodulation known as transcranial current stimulation (tCS) to deliver mild electrical currents to the brain. Neuroelectrics’ proprietary Precision-tCS technology develops a personalised stimulation protocol to target the specific areas of the patient’s brain where the seizures originate, as identified by the treating neurologist. The Starstim device is worn for 20 minutes per day, and there is no penetration of the brain or skin.