What is the role of implantable neurostimulators in the treatment of epilepsy?

Updated: May 30, 2019
  • Author: David Y Ko, MD; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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The NeuroPace RNS System, a device that is implanted into the cranium, senses and records electrocorticographic patterns and delivers short trains of current pulses to interrupt ictal discharges in the brain. The Neurological Devices panel of the FDA concluded that this device was safe and effective in patients with partial-onset epilepsy in whom other antiepileptic treatment approaches have failed and that the benefits outweigh the risks. [68]

In November 2013, the FDA approved the NeuroPace RNS System for the reduction of seizures in patients with drug-resistant epilepsy. [69, 70] Approval was based on a clinical trial involving 191 subjects with drug-resistant epilepsy. The neurostimulator was implanted in all of these patients but activated in only half of them. After 3 months, the average number of seizures per month in patients with the activated device fell by a median of 34%, compared with an approximately 19% median reduction in patients with an unactivated device.

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