Wednesday, November 29, 2023

First time, Pakistan uses “brain pacemaker” to treat epilepsy

Pakistan started using brain pacemaker for epilepsy patients
The first two operations were performed at a hospital in Lahore
The patients are from Peshawar and Sindh

For the first time in Pakistan, a pacemaker was placed on the chest wall of two women to treat epilepsy. The patients were from Peshawar and Sind.

Dr. Asif Bashir, a Spanish specialist at a non-public hospital in Lahore, started treatment in Pakistan and operated on the two women.

In addition, he said this operation had continued in the United States for the past 20 years. The government needs to lift taxes on surgical instruments so that domestic operating costs can be reduced, said Dr. Bashir.

What are brain pacemakers?

A brain pacemaker is a medical device, implante in the brain by using electrical signals to stimulate nerve tissue. In this case, pacemakers use to treat patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, or mental disorders, for example.

Brain stimulation is called deep brain stimulation (DBS) when structures directed deep into the brain or stimulation when the electrical contacts of the stimulator are on the surface of the brain.

Apart from direct brain stimulation, pacemakers can also use to stimulate the spinal cord (for example to treat pain) or the vagus nerve (to treat epilepsy).

Electrical stimulation of the nervous system has a long history, starting in the 19th century when the first documented cortical stimulation tests.

Read about: Pakistan start vaccinating citizens after receiving 2.8m doses

What is deep brain stimulation?

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a surgical procedure that involves implanting electrodes in the brain that send out electrical impulses that block or change the abnormal activity that causes symptoms.

The deep brain stimulation system contains of four parts:

Lead (thin, insulated wire) that ends at electrodes implanted in the brain

Kind of like a pacemaker called a pulse generator which generates an electric pulse

Extension cords that carry electrical impulses from the device and attached to cables that implanted in the brain

A manual programming device that regulates the signal from the device and can turn the device on and off.

With deep brain stimulation, electrodes placed in target areas of the brain. So then, the electrodes connected to a type of pacemaker (called an implantable pulse generator). That is place under the skin of the chest under the collarbone.

Once activated, the pulse generator sends electric pulses continuously to target areas of the brain. Thus altering the abnormal activity in the brain area causing symptoms. The brain’s stimulation system works similarly to a pacemaker. In fact, deep brain stimulation called a “brain pacemaker”.

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