Owen was admitted to the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in late April. In an initial procedure, Dr. Elisevich surgically implanted electrodes into her brain to initiate the monitoring of seizures with a continuous inpatient video electroencephalographic (vEEG).
This mapping pinpointed the origin of Owen's seizures in the left temporal lobe, enabling physicians to target the optimal location for placement of the NeuroPace RNS Neurostimulator, a titanium microprocessor measuring about one by two inches, which is connected to electrodes implanted at the site of seizure origin. The monitoring also indicated that Owen was undergoing near continuous seizure activity while she slept.
While her doctors consider the operation to be a success, they caution that the work of monitoring and interrupting seizure activity in Owen's brain is only just beginning.
"Seizure activity can often be temporarily disrupted by the placing of electrodes during surgery," Dr. Elisevich said. "The next phase is to wait for her brain to start misbehaving again so that the computer can be programmed to interrupt the dysfunctional signaling."
During this phase of the process, the patient uses an electronic wand to download data from the device on a daily basis. This information enables her medical team to track her seizure activity and disrupt it by programming the device to deliver short, imperceptible electrical pulses to the brain through the implanted electrodes.
"This information will enable us to identify a distinct pattern of seizure onset, which we can break down by frequency, amplitude and a number of other factors," said Owen's neurologist, Brien Smith, MD, co-chair, departme
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