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Pacemaker may help avoid seizures

24 July, 2006

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a 'neurological pacemaker' that they claim can treat seizures before they happen.

Using
electrodes attached to a cap, the system monitors brain activity and
can determine when a seizure is likely. A signal is sent to a vagus nerve stimulation device
implanted in the body which then sends a specific impulse to the brain,
preventing the seizure, instead of the series of impulses currently
used.

Its
creators, led by Professor John Guttag, say they are still a long way
from making the device available to the public. "There will be some
serious development work to make it small and portable - not in the
sense of needing a scientific breakthrough, but lots of hard
engineering."