Upstate News

July 14, 1998
Doretta Royer 315 464-4833

Revolutionary New Epilepsy Treatment Used at University Hospital

The first new treatment for epilepsy in 100 years is being used by the Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery at University Hospital of the State University of New York Health Science Center at Syracuse.

The FDA approved treatment, called NeuroCybernetic Prosthesis or NCP System by Cyberonics, includes an implantable device that is equivalent to a pacemaker for the brain.

The treatment offers relief from uncontrolled seizures and a chance for a more normal life for patients with refractory epilepsy (those who are unable to control their disorder using drug therapy or surgery.)

The treatment involves a device, roughly the size of a small picket watch, which is implanted in the patient’s chest with small wires leading to the vagus nerve in the neck. The device sends precisely timed and measured electrical pulses to the vagus nerve, which controls activity between the brain and the internal organs. By conditioning the brain to react to the interruptions of normal brain functions caused by epilepsy, the NCP System decreases or abolishes seizures in many patients.

The NCP System received U.S. Food & Drug Administration approval in July of 1997 following more than ten years of research, preclinical and human studies. According to Cyberonics, the NCP System has no acute or chronic, cognitive, behavioral, or emotional side effects. The device is easily implanted and made of biocompatible material. In clinical studies, the NCP System has actually proven increased success in reducing and eliminating seizures over prolonged use.

For more information about the NCP System to treat epilepsy, call University Hospital’s Health Connections at 464-8668 or (800) 464-8668.

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