New epilepsy treatment

A cutting-edge treatment may give hope to many others with the brain disorder


JACKSONVILLE, Fla – Life-long epileptic seizures were torture for one young woman. But a cutting-edge treatment may give hope to many others with the brain disorder. that story is coming up.

2.2 Million Americans have epilepsy, a brain condition marked by unprovoked, sudden seizures. For some patients, medication or even surgery can help.

20-year-old Amanda Mullen is opening a brand new chapter.  Amanda suffered a stroke in her mother's womb. from there, she suffered seizures just about every week of her life.  

"Like uhhh where am i? Like, I didn't know where i was. the students in grade school were calling me names," says Mullen

All the while, one of Amanda's doctors was working to develop a road map of her brain.   

 "She had been very challenging because we could not clearly identify her highway or circuitry," says Dr. Rossi.

Then, success. Doctor Marvin Rossi an Epilepsy Neurologist at Rush University Medical Center developed an Electro Lead Placement Planning System.  A first ever method for finding the on-ramps to the brain's pathways.  Leading to the precise areas that can be stimulated with electrodes.   

The stimulation comes from this newly FDA approved device called the Neuropace System which was implanted in Amanda's skull. It works like a pacemaker or heart defibrillator that monitors brain activity and delivers stimulation when needed.   

 "I see her as seizure-free and i understand parents want to believe that, but i really do believe that we have data that shows that this works," says Rossi.

 For now, Amanda's seizures have dwindled to about two per month. She's closer than ever to her life-long dream of a seizure-free trip to Paris  

The FDA approved Neuropace in November of 2013. The best candidates for it are adult patients who suffer seizures in up to two fixed locations in the brain, rather than in "random" places and those fixed location patients who are medication resistant make up about 20 to 30-percent of all patients with epilepsy. 

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