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New Technology Shapes How Neurologists Treat Epilepsy

KSTP TV - Troy Lindberg thought he had exhausted every treatment available for epilepsy until his doctor in Aberdeen, South Dakota, referred him to the University of Minnesota Health MINCEP Epilepsy Care in Minneapolis.

"They cut a hole in my skull and set it inside there, and there would be two screws to hold it in," he said.  

What doctors attached to his skull and brain was a device called NeuroPace RNS System. The device uses electrodes implanted in the brain to monitor brain wave activity and detect seizures before they take hold in the brain. The device then administers electric stimulation to the brain to stop the seizure and restore normal brain function.

Neurologist Thaddeus Walczak says Lindberg is a pioneer of sorts.

"He is the first one in the state of Minnesota, in the upper Midwest actually," he said.

Walczak says the device will reduce a patient’s need for medications. He also believes the NeuroPace System will allow them to help a lot of patients who didn't benefit from surgical treatment in the past.  

He says the device is the most advanced FDA-approved neurostimulation device available in Minnesota. Similar brain stimulation devices are under development but have not been approved by the FDA.

Lindberg says the device will give him a chance to go to work, something he hasn't been able to do for two years.