Medtronic announced both the U.S. launch of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) for medically-refractory epilepsy and the first commercially implanted patient at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. According to Medtronic’s announcement:
DBS therapy for epilepsy delivers controlled electrical pulses to a target in the brain called the anterior nucleus of the thalamus (ANT), which is part of a network involved in seizures. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted pre-market approval for Medtronic DBS Therapy for Epilepsy as adjunctive treatment for reducing the frequency of partial-onset seizures in individuals 18 years of age or older who are refractory, or drug-resistant, to three or more antiepileptic medications. The approval was based on results from the SANTE® (Stimulation of the Anterior Nucleus of the Thalamus in Epilepsy) trial, wherein patients had a median seizure frequency reduction of 75 percent at seven years post-implant.
In addition to medically refractory epilepsy, DBS therapy is currently approved in the U.S. and Europe, for the treatment of the disabling symptoms of essential tremor and recent and longer-standing Parkinson’s disease. Under Humanitarian Device Exemption (HDE) approvals in the United States, the therapy can also be used to treat chronic intractable primary dystonia and severe, treatment-resistant obsessive-compulsive disorder.