Epileptic teen receives first ever seizure-controlling brain implant

A 13-year-old boy with severe epilepsy in the UK has become the first person in the world to be fitted with a brain implant to help control seizures. Per Oran Knowlson underwent surgery at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) to have a Picostim neurostimulator implanted in his brain to treat Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a rare treatment-resistant form of epilepsy.

Knowlson received the neurostimulator as part of October 2023 It is run by GOSH in partnership with University College London, King’s College Hospital and the University of Oxford. After receiving the implant, developed by Amber Therapeutics, Ora’s daytime seizures decreased by 80 percent. Previously, her seizures were so severe that she required constant care, sometimes losing consciousness and requiring resuscitation.

Martin Tisdall, pediatric neurosurgeon at GOSH, said: “Epilepsy has completely changed their lives for Oran and his family, so it’s absolutely amazing to see him riding and regaining his independence.” “We couldn’t be happier to be a part of their journey.”

Tisdall’s surgical team mounted the Picostim on Knowlson’s skull and inserted two electrodes deep into Knowlson’s brain until they reached the thalamus. The electrodes were then connected to a neurostimulator that sent a steady, gentle electrical current to his brain to prevent or weaken seizures. Oran’s mother, Justine Knowlson, confirmed this when discussing how the implant has improved her son’s quality of life.

“We have seen great progress; the seizures have decreased and become less severe,” he said. “He is more talkative, more engaged. He’s 13 and I definitely have a teenage son – he’s happy to say no to me. But it increases his quality of life when he can express himself better.”

The Picostim neurostimulator is the only seizure treatment device being tested. Researchers in Israel in 2020 , can predict these seizures up to an hour before they start. Two years ago A detect nocturnal epileptic seizures and contact the user’s caregiver when they strike.

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