This is the first time in the world… a device has been implanted in the head of an epilepsy patient, this is how it works


In the UK, a device has been implanted in the head of a 13-year-old epileptic patient. This has happened for the first time in the world. Due to this device, the child's epileptic seizures have reduced by 80 percent. Efforts have been made earlier for childhood epilepsy, but till now the neurostimulator was kept in the chest, whose wires went to the brain.

The device was implanted in an epileptic patient in the UK

Pic credit : Getty images Keith Brofsky

Epilepsy is still a big problem all over the world. It is a brain disease that occurs due to disturbances in the brain's function. Those who suffer from frequent epileptic seizures have to depend on medicines for a long time. A ray of hope has been seen in the UK for such patients. In fact, for the first time in the UK, such an experiment was conducted in which a device was installed in the head of a 13-year-old child to reduce epileptic seizures.

The child's name is Oran Nolson who used to suffer from severe epileptic seizures. Oran Nolson has become the first patient in the world to be a part of such a test. The surgery, which lasted about eight hours, took place in October 2023. Since then, many good changes have happened in Oran's life. He is now able to do almost everything he likes like watching TV, horse riding.

Why do epileptic seizures occur?

According to doctors, there are thousands of circuits in our brain in which current flows. Due to these circuits, the brain controls our body. If there is a short circuit in any of these circuits, then the symptoms that arise in our body due to it are called epileptic seizures. If someone has an attack only once, it is called a seizure. If the seizures occur two or more times, it is called epilepsy.

The child had autism along with epilepsy

Oran has Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. This syndrome makes epilepsy very difficult to treat. Oran developed this syndrome at the age of three. Since then, he used to have two dozen to hundreds of seizures every day. These seizures were so severe that Oran would fall to the ground and sometimes even faint.

The family said that sometimes his breathing would stop which required emergency medication to correct it. Apart from this, Oran also has autism and ADHD. This surgery was done as part of a trial at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London in October. Oran was 12 years old at that time.

How does this device work?

The team, led by neurosurgeon Martin Tisdall, inserted two electrodes into Oran's brain until they reached the brain's thalamus. The ends of the leads were connected to a neurostimulator, a 3.5 cm square and 0.6 cm thick device that was placed in a gap in Oran's brain where bone had been removed.

The neurostimulator is then fitted into the surrounding skull to hold it in place. The neurostimulator sends electrical signals deep into the patient's brain. The device has reduced Oran Nolson's daytime seizures by 80%.

Why is this test different?

This has been tried before for childhood epilepsy, but until now the neurostimulator was placed in the chest with wires going to the brain. It is hoped that this study will determine whether this is an effective treatment for this severe type of epilepsy. Oran was given a month to recover from the operation before the neurostimulator was switched on.

Oran can't feel it when it's on, and he recharges the device every day via wireless headphones. Although a nurse is available with oxygen and one of his teachers is always nearby in case of any emergency, so far neither has been needed. As part of the trial, three more children with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome will be fitted with deep brain neurostimulators.