Australia (Next Media) - A new brain implant developed by researchers at the University of Melbourne can warn of epileptic seizures minutes before they strike, enabling sufferers avoid potential hazards.
The device consists of a small patch of electrodes that measure brain wave activity. Once implanted to the skull, it learns which patterns of brain wave activity indicate a seizure is about to happen. When such pattern is detected, the device would transmits a signal to a telemetry unit in the patient’s chest. The unit will then wirelessly transmit the data to an external, hand-held personal advisory device. The hand-held device is equipped with coloured lights including a red warning light which signals a seizure is imminent.
An early warning system for seizures could avoid dangers for individuals such as an attack while driving. It could also improve the effectiveness of anti-epilepsy drugs such as benzodiazepines, as they are only effective before a seizure starts.
The researchers said the next step in the development of the device is to test it on a larger sample of patients.
MIT Technology Review
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