Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital First in NJ to Implant Responsive Neurostimulation Device in Peds Patient with Epilepsy

Device Treats Drug-Resistant Focal Epilepsy with Constant Brain Monitoring and Instant Stimulation Response to Abnormal Activity

The first responsive neurostimulation (RNS) device in a pediatric patient to treat drug-resistant focal epilepsy was implanted at Hackensack Meridian Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center.

The 16-year-old patient had been treated for epilepsy for two years without significant improvement in seizures after trying multiple anti-seizure medications. Based on seizure and treatment history, the patient was a candidate for implantation of the NeuroPace RNS® System. The system is designed to treat focal seizures, starting in one or two specific parts of the brain.

Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital neurosurgeons and epileptologists first identified the area of the brain that was causing the patient’s seizures using a procedure called invasive stereoelectroencephalography (sEEG), where electrodes were placed in the brain to monitor the brain’s electrical activity for abnormalities. Neurosurgeons then implanted leads that deliver short pulses of electrical stimulation at the site in the brain where the seizures were originating and connected the leads to the neurostimulator device placed under the patient’s scalp.

In place, the system continuously monitors brain activity and is programmed to recognize the patient’s individual seizure patterns. If the system detects abnormal brain activity, it automatically responds with short pulses of electrical stimulation to disrupt abnormal activity and prevent seizures. Additionally, the system records and reports brain activity data to help physicians monitor patient progress, fine-tune the RNS device and deliver personalized care.

While research is ongoing, RNS has the potential to help young patients with focal seizures fully participate in everyday activities, such as school and sports, while reducing seizure-related stress for children and parents. Clinical trials of the RNS System in adults have shown approximately 70 percent median reduction in seizures and improvements in quality of life, such as less worry about future seizures, improved mental and physical health and improvements in the ability to think and remember.

Learn More about leading-edge pediatric treatments at Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health.

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