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Implantable Device to Treat Epilepsy


Diagnostic and preventative implantable device with computer-brain interface for treatment of epilepsy.



Brian Litt, MD, Department of Neurology



One percent of the world’s population suffers from epilepsy. Aside from seizures’ debilitating effects, patients are confined by their unpredictability. Prevention is one way to decrease seizures but measures usually focus on only a single parameter such as high-frequency oscillations (see above figure). Drug treatment or surgery is used to curb seizures. Implantable devices that detect and administer drugs are increasingly sought out as treatment options for epilepsy. However, these devices are limited; they only activate at the start of a seizure and deliver a uniform dose regardless of the seizure’s severity, which result in a delay in treatment or overmedication.  



To address the limitations of these devices, the Litt lab combined a closed responsive system with an implantable device that uses multi-level, closed loops. One system identifies and maps epileptic networks. Another predicts epileptic seizure onsets. A third system allows the device to distinguish seizure severity to deliver the appropriate dosage and adjust other treatment parameters. Lastly, another system incorporates these inputs to optimize and adjust the device parameters and therapeutic dose.  electrical signals from neural grooves. The data is collected rapidly and is of high spatial and temporal resolution. Use of biologically compatible components for the device ensures long term stability and safety.



• Combines multiple features through machine learning algorithms

• Anticipates and treats mild brain disturbances; prevents more severe seizures that require larger drug doses

• Map, monitor and manage epileptic network


Stage of Development

Analyzed data from 7 patients with temporal lobe epilepsy

Based algorithms on quantitative analysis from 9 patients with neocortical epilepsy and two control patients

Validated seizure prediction over two workshop patients

Over 31,000 channel-hours of intracranial electroencephalographic (iEEG) recordings from micro- to macroelectrode recordings

Prototype device and method tested in patients


Intellectual Property

U.S. Patent 7,146,218

U.S. Patent 6,594,524

U.S. Patent 8,065,011

U.S. Patent 6,678,548

U.S. Patent 7,333,851

U.S. Patent 8,150,522


Reference Media


Brian Litt on Brain-Computer Interfaces (Starts 31:50)

Brian Litt - Flexible, Active Brain-Computer Interfaces for Epilepsy


D’Alessandro et al. Clin Neurophysiol, 2005, 116(3) - 506.

Gardner et al. Clin Neurophysiol, 2007, 118(5) - 1134.

Blanco et al. Brain, 2011, 134 (Pt 10) - 2948.

Wulsin et al. J Neural Eng, 2011, 8(3) - 036015.


Desired partnerships

•  License