Epilepsy is characterized by disturbances of electrical activity in the brain, causing seizures (convulsions). Epilepsy affects about 1% of the population. Persons with epilepsy have permanent changes in brain tissue that may be a result of injury, infection, abnormal growths or metabolic disorders. Anti-seizure medication can control symptoms in most patients. In about one-third of patients, seizures are not fully controlled by medicine alone. Since seizures are unpredictable, frequently embarrassing, and prohibit driving, many people with epilepsy may withdraw from otherwise enjoyable activities. Surgery to remove epileptic brain areas may be helpful in some patients. Sometimes children with epilepsy are placed on special diets. In patients whose seizures are not controlled by medication, an implanted medical device may reduce seizures by providing mild electrical stimulation to the vagus nerve or deep structures within the brain.

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A deep brain stimulation system (DBS) delivers electrical impulses to specific brain areas to restore the balance of circuits that are disrupted, overcoming abnormal activity . . .

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Surgery is only one step in the process of undergoing deep brain stimulation therapy . . .

red diamond also see (text, images concerning closed-loop stimulation systems)

A closed-loop neuromodulation system only delivers stimulation . . .

Reviewed April 2, 2012
Jaimie M. Henderson, MD
Director-at-Large, International Neuromodulation Society, 2011 - 2014
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery, and, By Courtesy, of Neurology and Neurological Sciences; Robert and Ruth Halperin Faculty Scholar; Director, Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery; Co-Director, Neural Prosthetics Translational Laboratory; Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA

Last Updated on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 11:49 AM