If you have epilepsy and medications are not providing enough seizure control, you may be considering your options for epilepsy surgery. NeuroPace, also known as responsive neurostimulation (RNS), may provide you with the seizure relief you want. RNS is an adjunctive therapy used to reduce the frequency of seizures. It is FDA-approved for epilepsy patients 18 and older whose seizures are not controlled by medications. While patients often have to continue medications with NeuroPace, the therapy typically results in a reduction in medication use. It’s a reversible procedure and does require an implanted device to work.
Neurosurgery One’s expert neurosurgeons specialize in epilepsy surgery, including NeuroPace (RNS). We use an evidence-based approach to make the best recommendations for your type and severity of epilepsy. We also make sure you understand your options and the risks and benefits of each epilepsy surgery available to you. As partners with your neurologist, we ensure your epilepsy treatment meets your goals.
NeuroPace is a medical device that observes and addresses brain activity causing seizures. Much like a heart pacemaker, the NeuroPace RNS device is implanted in the body and then automatically detects unusual brain patterns and sends electrical pulses to interrupt seizure activity. Once programmed, you cannot feel the stimulation.
Research shows that many epilepsy patients with NeuroPace have experienced meaningful seizure reduction and significant improvements in quality of life.
FAQs About NeuroPace (RNS)
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Conditions Treated with NeuroPace
How does NeuroPace (RNS) work?
Similar to a heart pacemaker, the NeuroPace, a responsive neurostimulation (RNS), is an implanted device that monitors brain waves for unusual patterns that indicate a seizure The device then automatically sends electrical pulses to interrupt seizure activity.
During surgery, one of Neurosurgery One’s skilled neurosurgeons places leads into the portions of your brain causing seizures. The leads are then connected to the NeuroPace neurostimulator that is positioned and hidden under the scalp. Once the neurostimulator is programmed, you cannot feel the stimulation. The neurostimulator’s settings are adjusted on an ongoing basis as needed to control seizures.
Am I a candidate for NeuroPace (RNS)?
If you have focal or partial epilepsy seizures that start in 1 or 2 location of the brain, NeuroPace RNS may be a recommended epilepsy surgery for you. RNS might also be a recommended approach if you cannot have resection surgery to remove the portion of the brain where seizures start or if you had resection surgery for your epilepsy and it did not work.
What are the benefits and risks of NeuroPace (RNS)?
Approximately 50% of people with the NeuroPace RNS system have positive results. Studies show that the benefits from RNS increase over time, with more than 60% of patients experiencing seizure freedom 3-6 years after surgery.
NeuroPace does not have ongoing stimulation-related side effects of other stimulation-related epilepsy surgeries. Like any surgical procedure, RNS has a low risk of infection or bleeding. Some patients also experience lower rates of seizure control, compared to brain resection surgery for epilepsy.
What should I consider before choosing NeuroPace (RNS) for my epilepsy?
You should carefully weigh the benefits of a NeuroPace RNS System with the potential risks. Because the benefits of the RNS System have been shown to increase over time, you should also consider whether you feel like giving the device time to realize its effectiveness is something you can do, or if you prefer an epilepsy surgical option that may provide more immediate benefits, like brain resection surgery or deep brain stimulation (DBS).
What is recovery like following NeuroPace (RNS)?
The NeuroPace RNS System is reversible as it does not remove any portion of the brain. However, the neurostimulator is placed under the scalp in the skull, which does require more invasive techniques than other non-resection options like deep brain stimulation (DBS). Typically, patients only remain in the hospital for 1-2 days. NeuroPace also has fewer stimulation-related side effects than other stimulation-type epilepsy surgeries.