SenTiva: New ‘life-changing’ device to treat epilepsy – World News

SenTiva: New ‘life-changing’ device to treat epilepsy

A young woman suffering from weekly seizures describes how she ‘never felt better’ thanks to a new treatment that ‘changed her life’.

Morgan Adams had been suffering from seizures since the age of just 15.

The random fits she endured over the past 12 years resulted in broken bones and teeth, requiring two shoulder reconstructions and multiple surgeries.

The 27-year-old tried various drugs to help control the condition, but became one of nearly 80,000 Australians diagnosed with drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE).

Miss Adams said she felt embarrassed to have seizures, especially when they were in front of strangers, such as at a train station or walking along tram lines.

But the Prahran resident said her life “completely changed” when she underwent a groundbreaking nerve stimulation therapy system called Sentiva in September last year.

She said that her “frequent” tours dramatically reduced from about a week to one every two months.

“It has changed my life and my outlook on life … I have never felt happier,” Miss Adams said.

“At one point I thought ‘I’m going to be with my family forever’ and I didn’t want to have a baby or have that life.

“I try and do as much as I possibly can and I don’t want to bring my epilepsy back because I really want to try to live as normal a life as possible.”

The university student said her initial diagnosis was a “total shock” because there was no family history of the condition.

He encouraged other people with drug-resistant epilepsy to talk to their neurological teams and see if the treatment is right for them.

SenTiva was approved this week by the Therapeutic Goods Administration in Australia for use in adults and children over the age of four.

The tiny device, developed by Livanova plc, will now be available at comprehensive epilepsy centers nationwide in both public and private medical facilities, including The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne.

It is implanted under the skin in a one-day procedure and works by reducing seizure frequency by regularly delivering mild pulses to the vagus nerve throughout the day.

The nerve carries a variety of signals from the digestive system and organs to the brain.

Terrence O’Brien, Alfred Hospital’s brain program director and deputy director of research, said it can take time for patients to be diagnosed with DRE and even longer for their Comprehensive Epilepsy Center referral.

He said that if a person was not responding to anti-epileptic drugs, it was important to explore other options first.

Professor O’Brien said, “We want techniques such as VNS therapy to become an important pillar in the way we manage DRE in patients who have been evaluated at the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center and who are not suitable for reactive epilepsy surgery. Huh.”

Carol Ireland, head of Epilepsy Action Australia, said there was a gap in people’s understanding of how burdensome the condition can be, despite it being one of the most common brain disorders.

He said the new DRE treatment option has given hope to many Australians who will be one step closer to achieving a better quality of life.

Epilepsy is more than just seizures. It requires significant lifestyle changes and can limit people’s abilities to lead fulfilling and productive lives, reducing their access to educational and professional opportunities. ,” said Ms Ireland.

“This condition can be frustrating and isolating for patients, especially if treatment is not producing the results needed for a better quality of life.”


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