Robot-Assisted Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery Will Treat Epilepsy

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There seems to be a new hope for the future of epilepsy treatment- a neurosurgeon in Canada has successfully performed robot-assisted deep brain stimulation surgery on a patient suffering from epilepsy, according to a report by CTV News.

Three of these surgeries have been undertaken since January. “They’ve all been successful, all patients have been able to go home a day or two after the procedure,” said Dr. Jonathan Lau, a neurosurgeon at London Health Sciences Centre’s University Hospital. According to Dr. Lau, the process is similar to implanting a pacemaker for a bad heart.

“This is the same idea. People with epilepsy have a predisposition to having seizures, so they have irregular rhythms in their brain, in terms of electrical activity. So the same principle applies. An irregular rhythm there, so we put electrodes in the appropriate spots and they can restore function and prevent seizures,” said Lau

The robot used for these procedures is the Renishaw Neuromate robot, and it can safely place electrodes in hard-to-reach parts of the brain.

The actual decision to use the robot was actually a happy accident. According to Interesting Engineering, Lau explained- “It was actually a fairly routine day when we decided, ‘Okay, because we don’t have the other options let’s use the robot.’ So we inquired a little bit and it turns out nobody had done this for this indication in Canada.”

The new treatment offers an option for some patients who would not otherwise be considered for surgery, Lau told CTV News.

Robot surgery seems to be becoming more popular as it often offers greater accuracy leading to better results and quicker recovery times.