New cell therapy may control epilepsy


They can strike anytime and anywhere! Now, a new clinical trial for epilepsy is using a regenerative brain cell procedure to stop seizures.

Standard epilepsy treatment begins with medications, then removal of the parts of the brain causing the seizures. However, there is a risk of damaging healthy brain tissue.

“Our goal, there, is to actually achieve seizure freedom,” said Dr. Sharona Ben-Haim

Now, doctors at UC San Diego are using MRI guidance to pinpoint the exact area causing the seizures, and then cells derived from stem cells are injected.

“This therapy offers us the opportunity to not destroy tissue, but to actually rehabilitate it and recover it,” said Dr. Jerry Shih.

The first patient they treated was a 38-year-old man who had 5 to 8 seizures a month. Two months after the procedure, he’s already improving.

“He’s had better than a 95% reduction in his seizures, which is tremendous,” said Shih.

Doctors hope as time goes by, he may even become seizure-free.

The first person in New York to have regenerative cell therapy stopped having 30 seizures a month.

A year after the treatment, they don’t have seizures anymore.

Patients who participate in this clinical trial must have temporal lobe epilepsy and will be monitored regularly for two years.

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