Neurosciences, Research & Technology

Spectrum Health First in Nation to Treat Epilepsy Patient with New Device

Also first in state to use device to treat patient with Parkinson’s

Grand Rapids, Mich., July 28, 2021 Spectrum Health has employed a new and sophisticated medical device to ease some symptoms associated with medically refractory epilepsy and certain movement disorders, making it the first hospital in the nation to use the device to treat a patient with epilepsy and the first in the state of Michigan to use it to treat a patient with Parkinson’s disease.

The device, the SenSight™ Directional Lead System for deep brain stimulation therapy, is manufactured by Medtronic. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in May to treat certain types of epilepsy and some symptoms associated with movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, dystonia and essential tremor.

In deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy, a neurosurgeon implants a small pacemaker-like device that connects with a lead and sends electrical signals to targeted areas in the brain that control movement and regions susceptible to the generation of seizures. After surgery, a neurologist wirelessly adjusts the settings to best control symptoms while minimizing potential side effects.

DBS therapy is not new at Spectrum Health, but the SenSight™ system takes it to a new level when paired with Medtronic’s Percept™ PC neurostimulator, as it records the patient’s brain signals and provides more precise and targeted electrical signals, resulting in more efficient and informed programming. More information about the device and FDA approval is available here.

“Because this newer technology can record brain signals, we now have objective data that will allow us to look for patterns and make adjustments accordingly,” said Rushna Ali, MD, the Spectrum Health neurosurgeon who on July 2 became the first provider in Michigan to implant the device in a patient with Parkinson’s disease.

“This objective data, along with the directionality of the leads, will help us better understand and treat movement disorders and epilepsy. The goal is to improve the quality of life for our patients with this more personalized and innovative care,” said Sanjay Patra, MD, the division chief of Spectrum Health neurosurgery who implanted the device on June 8 in a patient with medically refractory epilepsy, making him the first in the nation to use the device to curtail epileptic seizures in a patient.
SenSight™, along with other therapeutic devices available at Spectrum Heath, enables the treatment teams to individually tailor therapy for patients experiencing disabling movement disorders and epilepsy.


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Beth Cranson
Media Relations
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