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What is neuromodulation?

Neuromodulation is surgery to help control seizures–not necessarily to stop them but to control them. The one that’s been around the longest is called the vagal nerve stimulator. This is a pacemaker device that’s implanted under the skin with a wire running underneath the skin to the neck to a nerve called the vagus nerve. This pacemaker sends an impulse to the vagus nerve and then, through a black-box mechanism, sends a signal up into the brain that helps control seizures. This therapy results with an average 50% reduction in seizure frequency. Another device called a neuropace device is actually implanted in the skull. An electrode is put into the place in the brain where the seizure is originating. The electrode can detect the onset of a seizure and zap the brain to prevent the seizure from occurring. With a neuropace device, the doctor has to be sure exactly which part of the brain the seizure is coming from before it can be implanted. 

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