Predicting epileptic seizures: creating an implantable detection device

Epilepsy is a common and disabling condition, and at least 1/3 of patients are not controlled on therapies available currently. Most people with epilepsy experience ‘minor’ rather than ‘major’ seizures, which disrupt activity because they cause loss of awareness and expose the individual to dangers, such as when driving.

The unpredictability of the seizures is a major source of disability for people with epilepsy. As well, people are often unaware of their seizures, as the events cause memory disruption. We started work on seizure prediction some years ago, and then performed a first-in-man study using an invasive seizure prediction system, showing this is possible. A less invasive system was needed though, and we have developed this recently. There have been many obstacles to the development of this system, but the device is now being manufactured with a clinical trial anticipated in mid-2019. I will describe how we approached the problem, built the team and successfully developed a partnership to commercialise this system, and how we see it will change the management of epilepsy

Professor Mark Cook, University of Melbourne and St Vincent’s Hospital

Mark Cook is the director of the Graeme Clark Institute and Sir John Eccles Chair of Medicine, University of Melbourne, and Director of Neurology at St. Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne.

He is also Chair of the Human Ethics Committee, St. Vincent’s Hospital, Honorary Physician to the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, Chair, Bionic Institute’s Honorary Clinical Research Fellows, Chair, Medical History Museum Committee.

His recent work has focused on experimental models of epilepsy and seizure prediction. He has lead 3 first-in-man studies of novel epilepsy management and treatment devices, and is currently commercialising an implantable seizure detection system with a major international manufacturer. He is an author of 2 scholarly books, 14 book chapters and over 200 published peer reviewed original papers and published abstracts.

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By Convergence Science Network


Auditorium: The Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity

792 Elizabeth Street

Melbourne, Victoria 3000

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