Being seizure-free would be life-changing for millions of people in the United States with epilepsy. Medication helps some of those patients. And now a new NeuroPace stimulation device implanted in the brain offers additional hope of seizure control for epilepsy patients like Wendy Toale. Wendy has a lesion on the right side of her brain and began experiencing seizures at age 19. Medication helped control her symptoms for several years, but then the seizures returned, significantly interfering with the quality of her day-to-day life as a wife, mother, and school teacher.
The NeuroPace brain stimulation device monitors brainwave activity, detects seizure onsets, and stimulates electrodes implanted in the brain to try to abort the seizure activity.
Wendy was one of 13 patients to have the NeuroPace device implanted by neurosurgeons at Intermountain Medical Center in 2016. “Being able to provide advanced, leading-edge services to our patients on a daily basis is so important to me,” says Tawnya Constantino, MD, a neurologist specializing in epilepsy. “Patients derive great comfort from knowing they have access to the latest medical breakthroughs.”
“Dr. Constantino has been such an advocate for me,” says Wendy. “And the fact that there is a device that goes right onto my brain now that can help take seizures away is just incredible. I don’t feel it. I don’t know it’s there.” She looks forward to doing all the things she once did. In the first few months since the implant, Wendy has already seen significant improvement. She now is experiencing fewer and less severe seizures.
Number of people with epilepsy who live with uncontrollable seizures.