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New Seizure Detection Technologies Seek to Prevent Brain Damage

This month, a research trial is underway for a revolutionary technology that allows physicians to instantly detect neonatal seizures.  This cot-side technology utilizes a patented physician-made algorithm that can analyze the readings from continuous EEG monitoring (brain activity monitoring) and signal when there is a problem.  The doctors hope that by automatically detecting seizures, medical staff will be able to take prompt measures to reduce the damage that seizures cause, including cerebral palsy and other intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Medical Staff Often Cannot Detect Neonatal Seizures

original Newborn in NICU1 1Instant detection of seizures is crucial because oftentimes, nurses and doctors cannot tell a baby is having a seizure.  Monitoring devices in the neonatal ICU typically keep track of heart rate and blood pressure, but there is nothing keeping track of brain activity.  Since seizures can cause brain cell damage and permanent neurological injury, it is extremely important to stop or minimize seizure activity.  Seizures usually have an underlying cause, such as hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, stroke and infection.  Thus, instant detection of a seizure can prompt doctors to look for and treat the cause of the seizure to prevent recurrences.

Monitoring Seizures in High-Risk Infants is Crucial

Most babies do not need continuous monitoring for seizure activity.  But it is essential for physicians to monitor for and detect seizures in high-risk babies.  Since seizures often have no outward symptoms, this cot-side technology is an additional – and potentially groundbreaking – measure that physicians can use to promptly treat and prevent seizure-related neurological damage.  The research trial for this seizure detection device will show researchers if utilizing the technology at the baby’s bedside does, in fact, help seizures be detected earlier and treated faster.

Seizure Detection Device Brings Together Researchers Worldwide, Could Save Lives

For many years, researchers have been testing the algorithm and collecting data, which has shown much success.  This large-scale trial will be undertaken at hospitals around the world, bringing together researchers from several countries. This seizure detection device shows a lot of promise, and researchers hope that it can be used in future trials to evaluate seizure treatments in other research projects.

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