AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 29, Number 2, 2020


Testing Advances in Epilepsy Treatment

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Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have successfully prevented epileptic seizures in animal models by pre-emptively directing a low-frequency stimulus to the nerve fibers in the brain. 

That technique differs substantially from current human therapies recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in which doctors now employ a much higher frequency directly into brain tissue and sometimes only after a seizure has started.

Those methods, while an alternative to previous treatments in which brain tissue is surgically removed, still only reduce seizures by about 50% and in just about half of the patients treated, said researcher Dominique Durand, the Elmer Lincoln Lindseth Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve and director of its Neural Engineering Center.

But Durand and PhD student Nick Couturier have demonstrated a success rate of more than 90% in animal testing—and by a method that works before a seizure even occurs.

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