Sunday, August 05, 2007

RNS Discussion with Dr. King-Stephens (Part 4)

Part 4 of my RNS discussion with Dr. King-Stephens:

How does the RNS “know” to send an electrical pulse to the brain?

The RNS uses very sophisticated computer programs to recognize abnormal brain electrical activity and distinguish it from normal activity. The data (or EEG) is stored in the RNS and by communicating with a laptop computer, similar to a heart pacemaker, it can be retrieved and sent to a computer at NeuroPace and stored for future review.

Once the patient downloads the activity that is stored in the device to the main computer at NeuroPace, the doctors can review it and make changes in the detection programs to improve the ability of the device to recognize the seizure activity. The better the device gets at distinguishing the abnormal from normal brain activity, the better it works at blocking the seizures and improving the control of the epilepsy.

The RNS must acquire a significant amount of data about your brain. How is that data stored and how is it sent to your physician?

The data is stored on servers and is password protected, that is, the physician can access the information only for his or her own patients.

The pulse of a VNS has to be powerful enough to reach the activation threshold of the Vagus nerve and cause it to “fire”. How powerful do RNS pulses have to be in order to interrupt seizure activity in the brain?

The magnitude of the electrical activity delivered to the brain to control the seizures is much lower with RNS than VNS, (probably around 15% of what is needed for VNS). Since there are no pain nerve fibers in the brain, the patient does not feel the "shock" applied by the device.

Previous Posts (Part 1 Part 2 Part 3)
More tommorow.

If you have epilepsy and are interested in finding out if you are a good match for the RNS clinical study, Call: 1-866-904-6630 or go to:

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