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

top a person's seizure from happening."

Epilepsy is a debilitating neurological condition that causes recurrent seizures, affecting approximately 65 million people worldwide including nearly 3 million in the United States. Those who can tolerate medication and whose seizures are completely controlled usually lead a normal life, but the disease can be devastating for the up to 40 percent who experience uncontrolled seizures.

Most people with epilepsy gain complete control of their seizures or are able to significantly reduce the number of seizures they experience by taking medicine or having surgery to remove the area of the brain where the seizures originate. Having developed new methods to identify and cut out the seizure-onset zone, the surgical epilepsy program at USC has had an 80 percent cure rate among patients who do not respond to anti-seizure medications. RNS may help the remaining 20 percent.

"We have become very good at finding and surgically removing the areas of the brain where these seizures start, but we have limited options when a person's seizures begin in critical zones, such as those that affect speech or movement," said neurosurgeon Charles Liu, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurosurgery and neurology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, surgical director of the USC Comprehensive Epilepsy Program and director of the new USC Center for Neurorestoration. "Devices like this provide an option for the population with epilepsy who live with uncontrollable seizures because no available treatment works for them. Implanting it is probably safer than traditional epilepsy surgery, because we're not taking anything out."

Heck, who is also co-director of the USC Center for Neurorestoration, sought to join the clinical trial of the RNS device in December 2005 and testified before the FDA in 2012. USC implanted its first RNS patient in December 2006 and ultimately enrolled and trea
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SOURCE Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California
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