Life with seizures can be overwhelming and debilitating. If you’re an adult suffering from partial-onset (focal) seizures that are uncontrolled by medications, you don’t have to settle for a life defined by seizures. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) Therapy for Epilepsy may be an option for you.
DBS is an established therapy that may reduce the frequency of your seizures. In a clinical study, Medtronic DBS Therapy for Epilepsy significantly reduced even patients’ most severe partial-onset (focal) seizures, and incidence of epilepsy-related injury.1
DBS Therapy for Epilepsy carefully delivers controlled electrical stimulation directly to the specific areas in your brain involved with seizures through a small implanted device similar to a cardiac pacemaker. A small neurostimulator is surgically placed under the skin in the chest or abdomen to deliver therapy. The device sends electrical pulses through thin, insulated wires called leads that are placed in a specific area of your brain.
If DBS therapy is ineffective or not tolerated, the DBS system can be turned off or surgically removed from your body. If you experience side effects — such as a tingling sensation at the implant site — it typically can be resolved with adjustments in device programming.
When it comes to coping with seizures, less can certainly mean more. Seizures can lead you to isolate yourself or become socially withdrawn, negatively affecting your quality of life. Fortunately, clinical data shows that — along with a reduction in seizures — Medtronic DBS Therapy for Epilepsy may improve a patient’s quality of life.
In fact, when asked one year after receiving DBS Therapy for Epilepsy, more than 80% of the clinical trial patients said they would choose this therapy again knowing the results — and would recommend the therapy to a friend. Seven years after receiving DBS, 84% (54 out of 64) of the patients said they were “satisfied” or “greatly satisfied” with the results of this therapy.1
DBS Therapy for Epilepsy gives you the stimulation you need and can be modified for individual control of therapy. Over time, your doctor will adjust the therapy settings in your device to meet your specific needs. Personalized therapy settings are programmed in the clinic using wireless communication between the implanted device and a clinician programmer. Every individual is different, so programming optimization may take place over several months to find the settings that best reduce your seizures and potential side effects.1
Your doctor may also give you a handheld patient programmer that enables you to switch the stimulator on and off, check the device battery level, and modify stimulation settings that are pre-set by your physician.
Most likely you will continue on antiepileptic medications. Your doctor will determine medication treatment and dosages that are right for you.
DBS therapy offers renewed hope for adults with partial-onset (focal) epilepsy — including those with two or more seizure foci.
If you can answer "Yes" to the following questions, you may be a candidate to receive Medtronic DBS therapy for epilepsy:
Download the Patient Candidacy Questionnaire to start a conversation with your physician about DBS Therapy for Epilepsy.
Medtronic DBS Therapy for Epilepsy Clinical Summary, 2018.