New pacemaker-like device offering patients relief from epileptic seizures

National

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KARK/NBC News) — A new device that’s similar in function to a pacemaker is offering patients relief from epileptic seizures. 

For more than 12 years, Tori Hatcher would have uncontrollable epileptic seizures that prevented her from driving and holding down a job.

The Vagus Nerve Stimulation device is implanted near the heart, with wires connected to the nerves in the neck.

Now with the help of an implant and a bracelet that looks like an Apple Watch, she is quickly getting back to a sense of normalcy.

The Vagus Nerve Stimulation device is implanted near the heart, with wires connected to the nerves in the neck. The device shocks her about every five minutes.

It connects to a bracelet that also gives Tori or someone else the ability to shock her as well.

“It blew my mind and I’ve just wished ever since that if I could tell more epileptic patients about this it would make me happy,” Hatcher says.

Neurosurgeon Dr. Victoras Palys says it could one day help get Hatcher off medication as well.

“As you can imagine not being able to drive. This is a big deal. For young patients like Tori this is very important thing,” explained Dr. Palys.

Currently a handful of patients in Arkansas have the implanted technology. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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