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FDA Approves New Epilepsy Treatment

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A new device for people with epilepsy now has the approval of the Food and Drug Administration.

The Neuropace system is implanted directly on the skull.

It detects seizure patterns in the brain, and then sends out tiny electrical impulses to stop a seizure before it starts.

Now, the FDA has approved the device for patients who don't respond to medication.

While it's not a complete cure, doctors say the device can reduce the frequency and severity of seizures in patients. Patients use a special laptop and wand to collect data from the device.

A doctor can then use that information to tweak the device remotely if necessary.

"And so that has made a big difference in terms of their safety and their ability to go and get out of their homes and participate in life," says Dr. Christi Heck, a neurologist with the USC Epilepsy Program at Keck Medical Center.

Possible side effects can include infection at the site of the implant. Some patients have also reported seeing flashes of light.