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of everyone affected by epilepsy

New implant recognises 'seizure signature'

17 August, 2006

A new device is
being tested at Indianapolis University. The Responsive Neurostimulator
(RNS) is a thin wire with four electrodes which is implanted into both
sides of the brain.

It's
vital that the RNS is put in the right place, so detailed MRI images
are used to find a path to the part of the patient's brain that
generates their seizures.

The
doctors then implant a transmitter in the back of the patient's skull.
The RNS learns to recognise the 'signature' of the patient's seizures,
and when it senses the signature, it sends an electronic charge to the
RNS stopping the oncoming seizure before it starts.

It's not yet known whether the device will be suitable for treating epilepsy. The study is planned to last for three years.