Epilepsy: Five new things

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Abstract

Purpose of review:

Technological advance has revolutionized epilepsy management recently. Herein, we review some recent developments.

Recent findings:

Responsive neurostimulation (Food and Drug Administration [FDA]-approved 2013) works by continuous analysis of brain rhythms and direct brain stimulation on detecting patterns thought to be epileptogenic, thereby aborting seizures. Cardio-responsive vagus nerve stimulation (FDA-approved 2015) is an improvement over traditional vagus nerve stimulation systems, taking advantage of the fact that 80% of seizures are associated with tachycardia. Automated tachycardia detection leads to vagus nerve stimulation to abort seizures. In MRI-guided stereotactic laser ablation (developed 2012), a directed laser emitting fiberoptic catheter is used to ablate epileptogenic lesions. The procedure can be completed in 3 to 4 hours, potentially under local anesthesia and with next-day discharge. Perampanel (FDA-approved 2012) is a promising new class of AMPA (α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid)-antagonist antiseizure therapy. Meanwhile, a millennia-old remedy for epilepsy, cannabis, is staging a comeback with recent legal and social permissiveness accelerating research into this use.

Summary:

The coming years will demonstrate how these recent advances in device and drug management will improve the care of epilepsy.

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