Researchers, publishing in Science Advances, reported that they had implanted an ion pump into the brain of a rodent model of epilepsy which was able to prevent seizures.
Prof Ley Sander, Medical Director at Epilepsy Society and Professor of Neurology, UCL, said:
“What is interesting about this research is that the implant delivers a drug straight to the source of the seizure, minimising the amount of drug required, reducing the uptake time and potentially reducing the risk of side effects.
“Stopping seizures before they happen is the holy grail in terms of epilepsy management. We are already seeing neurostimulation implants that detect the onset of a seizure and interfere with its progress by delivering brief pulses of electricity that disrupt abnormal brain activity before the seizure begins.
“But this novel treatment, if it can be translated for humans, takes technology one step further.
“I would still tread cautiously however. Although researchers say the drug is a neurotransmitter that is native to the body, epilepsy is a diverse condition and its many seizure types remain defiantly resistant to any ‘one size fits all’ panacea.””
* ‘Electrophoretic drug delivery for seizure control’ by Proctor et al. will be published in Science Advances on Wednesday 29th August.
Prof Ley Sander: “No conflict of interest to declare”