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Keck Medicine of USC performs world's 1st implant after FDA approval for groundbreaking epilepsy treatment
Date:12/19/2013

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Dec. 18, Keck Medicine of USC became the world's first medical center to implant a responsive brain device newly approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat epilepsy, with potential to help millions of people worldwide.

The treatment involves surgical implantation of a device that detects and then directly responds to abnormal brain activity to prevent seizures before they occur. In a three-hour surgery, USC faculty physicians implanted the device in a 28-year-old Lakewood, Calif., woman who was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2004.

"I'm just so lucky to be here at USC," said Kathleen Rivas, an aspiring journalist who sought care from the university's student health center in 2009 while earning her master's degree. "Without faith and trust in my neurologist and neurosurgeon, I don't know where I'd be. My life is in their hands."

Rivas elected to have the implant because medication had not fully controlled her seizures. Over the next few months, her doctors will program the device to detect specific brain activity indicative of a seizure's onset.

The device is the world's only responsive neurostimulation (RNS) system approved for clinical use. USC physicians have been studying the technology since 2006 and are among the first authorized to prescribe its use since FDA approval on Nov. 14.

"This has the potential to be a game-changer in the care of patients with epilepsy," said neurologist Christianne Heck, M.D., M.M.M., associate professor of neurology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, medical director of the USC Comprehensive Epilepsy Program and principal investigator of the device's clinical study at USC. "Every individual's epilepsy is different. Unlike other neurostimulators on the market, this system looks for just the right circumstances to s
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SOURCE Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California
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