IU Health Bedford Hospital

Instant Messaging: Fast-Acting Device Helps Prevent Seizures

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July 06, 2018

New device keeps brain in rhythm

The pacemaker—first introduced in 1958 and commonly used for decades—was a game changer for people with heart problems. Today, a somewhat similar concept, known by medical terms as the RNS System, is being used to prevent seizures.

IU Health Southern Indiana Physicians provider Mehyar Mehrizi, MD, a specialist in the field of epilepsy, says the RNS device is implanted in the brain to monitor brainwaves of those with neurological disorders. He says the device, within milliseconds, can identify disruptions in normal brainwaves and send brief pulses to the brain, in effect, “gently shocking the patient out of the seizure pattern before symptoms are even felt or recognized.” Dr. Mehrizi says the implant and new medications offer a chance for vast improvements for all persons suffering from seizures, which accounts for 1 to 2 percent of the population.

With the use of the latest technology, life can return to a comfortable normal, the doctor says. “If you’re on medication and seizure free for six months, you can return to doing pretty much anything you want, including driving your own personal vehicle.”

Think it can't happen to you?

It’s a misnomer that seizures can only occur in people with epilepsy. In fact, Dr. Mehrizi, MD, says, “Any one of us can possibly have a triggered seizure. While there are genetic causes for seizures, other acquired causes that make a person susceptible include head trauma, stroke, herpes, encephalitis, meningitis and even reactions to medications.”

Be safe

If you are prone to having seizures or even have them under control, avoid driving, take showers instead of baths, don’t go swimming, stay off of elevated places and avoid heights.

Featured IU Health Southern Indiana Physicians provider seeing patients for epilepsy and other neurological disorders:
Mehyar Mehrizi, MD
812.353.DOCS (3627)

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