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NHS rolls out world’s first minimally invasive brain pacemaker for drug-resistant epilepsy

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EASEE - Epicranial Application of Stimulation Electrodes for Epilepsy by Precisis.

A world-first minimally invasive brain pacemaker is now available on the NHS for drug-resistant epilepsy patients across the UK.

Over 600,000 people in the UK have focal epilepsy.

Although most patients take at least one drug to treat the symptoms, around 30 per cent of epilepsy patients are drug resistant, meaning they continue to suffer from seizures or experience severe side effects from anti-epilepsy medications.

Whilst resective brain surgery is another option – only one per cent of patients are suitable for it, leaving most patients unable to access highly effective, innovative treatment options.

Developed by medtech company, Precisis, EASEE – Epicranial Application of Stimulation Electrodes for Epilepsy, is a system for individualised brain stimulation that is anatomically precisely positioned over the epileptic focus in the brain and surgically placed just under the scalp.

Image supplied by Precisis.

Based on a dual principle of action, EASEE provides a disruptive, acute effect with high-frequency pulses every two seconds against emerging seizures and direct current-like phases applied every day for 20 minutes, which regulate over-excitable brain areas in the long term to prevent seizures.

Dr Angela Liedler, CEO of Precisis, said, “Drug-refractory patients wait, on average, 22 years before they are offered further treatment options. With EASEE, the treatment spectrum is expanded in the early phases of the disease, meaning patients are able to access effective treatment earlier in their lives.

“EASEE is minimally invasive compared to other non-pharmacological treatment methods, and it is available for epilepsy patients over the age of 18 years.”

Image supplied by Precisis.

Based in Heidelberg, Germany, Precisis has been developing innovative medical products since 2004 to help patients with epilepsy and other brain diseases.

The safety and effectiveness of the EASEE implants has been proven in two European multi-centre studies. Precisis was also awarded the Breakthrough Device Designation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Innovation Award of Federal State Baden-Baden-Wurttemberg 2023 for its innovative work to help patients with focal epilepsies.

Michael Tittelbach, chief technology officer at Precisis, added: “Both the proprietary design of the stimulation electrode and the unique stimulation paradigm, with two complementary therapy modes, are building blocks for our novel and innovative offering to patients suffering from drug refractory, focal epilepsy.”

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