World’s First, Boy Has Brain Implant Fitted To Control Epilepsy Seizures

( – An epileptic teenager from the UK has become the first person ever recorded to get a brain implant to control their seizures. 13-year-old Oran Knowlson now has a neurostimulator implanted under his skull, which sends electrical signals deep into his brain and reduces the chance of constant and unpredictable seizures.

It’s reported that this device has already reduced his seizures by 80%. Oran’s mother, Justine, noted a significant improvement in his overall quality of life since the implant, saying that he talks a lot more and seems happier in general.

The procedure was done at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) in London and was led by pediatric neurosurgeon Martin Tisdall. Tisdall himself expressed his amazement at Oran’s progress post-surgery.

Oran suffers from Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a type of epilepsy that does not respond to any type of treatment, which he developed around three years of age. Before the surgery, Oran experienced seizures daily, sometimes hundreds in a single day. These seizures often led to loss of consciousness and he required to be revived constantly, which put him at risk of brain damage or more.

Tisdall emphasized the trial’s importance, stating how awful and debilitating severe epilepsy and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome are. He said that this new technology can drastically change the quality of life of people who suffer from these conditions.

The implant works by using two electrodes placed deep into the brain. The wires connect to a small device inside the skull. This device can be recharged via wearable headphones. The device was activated after the surgery and immediately provided electrical stimulation to disrupt the brain’s seizure pathways.

The success of this procedure is part of a trial involving GOSH, and many other hospitals in the UK named the “cadet pilot program”. There are currently plans to repeat the surgery and provide the implant for people who have the same syndrome as Oran.

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