Epilepsy Device - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Epilepsy Device

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Allison Adams says she had to leave her job as a school teacher after she had a severe seizure in front of her students.

"Your condition was so bad, you wouldn't leave the house?"

"No. It was too hard. I was too fearful."

When we first met Adams nine months ago, she was testing an epilepsy device called the neuropace system which was implanted directly on her skull. It detects seizure patterns in the brain, and then sends out tiny electrical impulses to stop a seizure before it starts.

Now, the FDA has approved the device for patients who don't respond to medication. Neurologist Christi Heck says while it's not a complete cure, the device can reduce the frequency and severity of seizures in patients.

"And so that has made a big difference in terms of their safety and their ability to go and get out of their homes and participate in life."

Allison uses a special laptop and wand to collect data from the device. Her doctor can then use that information to tweak the device remotely if necessary.

"Now there's a hope. There's technology that will give you a future."

Allison used to feel a seizure coming on ten times a day. Now she experiences a serious seizure about once a month.

She says the device has given her confidence and she hopes to return to the classroom.

Possible side effects of the neuropace system can include infection at the site of the implant. Some patients have also reported seeing flashes of light.

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