Portugal is the first country in the world to implant this long-term neurostimulator in an epileptic patient and the procedure took place in June, at the Centro Hospitalar Universitário de São João (CHUSJ).
According to the shared information, Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) in epilepsy has been used for some years in some situations, but it has been done “blindly”.
“We know that a large part of the cases (about 60%) benefit in some way from DBS, but that only a small part (about 15%) stops having epileptic seizures with this therapy and we don’t know why.
In fact, there is no understanding of the mode of action of stimulation in patients’ neuronal circuits and, therefore, much research is needed, which can be carried out, for example, through this new neurostimulation technology launched earlier this year by Medtronic at Europe”, explains João Paulo Cunha, coordinator of the Biomedical Engineering Research Center of the Institute of Systems and Computers Engineering, Technology and Science (INESC TEC).
Therefore, the medical community has thus sought evidence that it is possible to expand and improve the use of this technique, basing stimulation on information that can be read in the brain, while the therapy is administered.
And that was tested with an epileptic patient, the first in the world to be implanted with this new neurostimulator from the American manufacturer and to be monitored continuously in a specialized inpatient unit for several days.
The idea is to overcome this inability to perceive the effects. With this new neurostimulator we can leave this paradigm “blind” and move on to new approaches to “adaptive” or “reactive” stimulation, which can make all the difference in the quality of life of patients.