Epilepsy is yet another harmful disease which Israeli medical researchers have been working on ways to eradicate. Now Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva has developed a new device that predicts epileptic seizures which sufferers can wear.
The new device, called Epiness, uses EEG technology and new software. It works through electrodes which touch the wearer’s scalp and can measure the type of brain activity which occurs just before a seizure.
Epilepsy is a highly pervasive, and at times debilitating neural disease. Up to 30% of patients do not adequately respond to anti-epileptic drugs and live under constant fear of impending seizures. For such patients, a viable seizure prediction device could offer a substantial improvement in quality of life, enabling them to avoid seizure-related injuries. Current seizure alarm devices can detect a seizure in real time but are unable to provide advanced warnings of impending seizures.
“Epileptic seizures expose epilepsy patients to various preventable hazards, including falls, burns and other injuries,” said Dr. Oren Shriki. “Unfortunately, currently there are no seizure-predicting devices that can alert patients and allow them to prepare for upcoming seizures. We are therefore very excited that the machine-learning algorithms that we developed enable accurate prediction of impending seizures up to one hour prior to their occurrence. Since we have also shown that our algorithms enable a significant reduction in the number of necessary EEG electrodes, the device we are developing is both accurate and user friendly. We are currently developing a prototype that will be assessed in clinical trials later this year.”
“Epilepsy that is not adequately controlled by medication is prevalent, amounting up to 30% of epilepsy cases, and therefore, an accurate, easy to use seizure predicting device is a highly necessary unmet medical need,” stated Dr. Hadar Ron, Chairperson of NeuroHelp. “Current seizure alert devices can detect seizures while they are happening, and most of them depend on changes in movement, such as muscle spasms or falls. Epiness is unique in that it can predict an upcoming seizure and allow the patients and their caretakers to take precautionary actions and prevent injuries. It is also the only device that is based on brain activity rather than muscle movements or heart rate. We are confident that Epiness will be a valuable tool in the management of drug-resistant epilepsy.”