The brain pacemaker: a new treatment for epilepsy

Neuroscientists at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Advanced Bionics Corp., of Valencia, California, have developed a ‘brain pacemaker’ which could potentially be used to alleviate the symptoms of epilepsy.

In a pilot clinical trial, seizure frequency was reduced by 5-% or more in epileptics who used the brain pacemaker for at least 3 months.

The device can be worn exterally or implanted and stimulates the trigeminal nerve, leading to inhibition of seizures. If made commercially available, it would have a retail price of about $180, with batteries and electrodes costing about $150 per month.