An implanted device like this could also give patients and their doctors more information about their epilepsy, he added. In this study, the implants revealed that most patients were suffering more seizures than they thought; one patient who reported 11 a month was actually having more than 100.
In real life, Mehta said, it can be hard to know if you're feeling bad because of side effects from epilepsy medication or because you're having a lot of seizures. A device like this could help sort that out.
But what's still needed is evidence that this device does improve the quality of patients' lives, Mehta said.
The study was funded by NeuroVista, the Seattle-based company developing the technology. Several of Cook's co-researchers work for the company.
Learn more about epilepsy from the Epilepsy Foundation.
SOURCES: Mark Cook, M.D., professor, neurology, University of Melbourne, St. Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia; Ashesh Mehta, M.D., Ph.D., director, epilepsy surgery, North Shore-LIJ Comprehensive Epilepsy Care Center, Great Neck, N.Y.; May 2, 2013, Lancet Neurology, online
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