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Brain Implant Gives Early Warning Of Epileptic Seizure

posted 13 May 2013, 06:09 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 13 May 2013, 06:09 ]

 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.

SOURCES:

New Scientist

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23475-brain-implant-gives-early-warning-of-epileptic-seizure.html

MIT Technology Review

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/416599/brain-implant-cuts-seizures/

Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence

http://www.kurzweilai.net/brain-implant-gives-early-warning-of-epileptic-seizure



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