Pacing the Brain
October 26, 2021
New device at UH expands options for patients with intractable epilepsy
UH Clinical Update | November 2021
Patients with epilepsy that have not responded to anti-epileptic medications have a new option through the UH Neurological Institute – a “pacemaker for the brain” that continuously gathers EEG data and in some cases can prevent seizures.
UH functional and stereotactic neurosurgeon Jonathan Miller, MD, and Epilepsy Center physicians Drs. Guadalupe Fernandez-Baca, Neel Fotedar, Naiara Garcia-Losarcos, Luisa Londono-Hurtado, and Jonathan Zande are offering the NeuroPace RNS procedure to selected epilepsy patients. This FDA-approved procedure requires the placement of a small wire or strip of electrodes into the epileptic focus in the brain. Once placed, the device records secure, real-world EEG data on the patient, which the team can download and monitor regularly to track patterns and trends.
Studies show that the NeuroPace RNS device may help in decreasing seizure burden. However, this is not its only benefit. “In fact, the analysis of real-world data generated over time by the device actually enables some patients who’ve been excluded as surgical candidates to be reconsidered for resective epilepsy surgery, which when indicated is the most effective treatment for patients with medically intractable focal epilepsy,” says Dr. Fernandez-Baca, the Center’s director.
“The best part of having this technology at UH is the increased options it gives to these difficult-to-treat epilepsy patients. For some patients, this device could be a permanent solution,” she says. “But for others, it could be a step on the path to a more definitive surgical treatment.”