My epilepsy story contains two very different neurological events. I was born in 1975 with a defect in my left temporal lobe that caused seizures unresponsive to treatment until I had a left temporal lobectomy in 1996. That successful surgery let me live seizure free for nine years, graduate from college with an engineering degree, have a great job, and lead a normal life.
The second event was in 2005 when I had encephalitis which caused seizures arising from the right temporal lobe and loss of short-term memory. Treatment with medications did nothing, and another surgical resection was not possible.
My epileptologist in San Francisco recommended NeuroPace. It can be a life-changing decision, and I decided to undergo implant surgery as soon as possible after the FDA approved its use. I received the implant on June 20, 2014. It gives my doctors 24-7 EEG information about my brain’s electrical activity, which allows changes in treatment personalized for me. This opens the door for continued improvements in my epilepsy and my memory.
Ever since the RNS was activated, my life has improved in so many ways. My severe seizures have been cut in half. Neuropsychological testing shows an improvement in my processing speed, documented as Symbol Search, from 37th percentile before NeuroPace to 95th percentile 6 months after NeuroPace. These improvements have already resulted in a promotion at work, and I am learning new things, both technical and non-technical. I have enrolled in a college class, which I would not have done without my boosted mental clarity. My free time is more enjoyable with activities such as volunteering as a member of the board of directors of the Epilepsy Foundation of Mississippi and developing a website – www.PacingMyBrain.com – that gives first-hand information about my NeuroPace experience.
For patients like me who meet the criteria for responsive neurostimulation, NeuroPace can be a life-changing opportunity. A year later, I am very happy I decided to have the RNS system implanted. I can now look forward to a future of continued improvement in controlling my epilepsy and enhancing my life.