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Hope for New Epilepsy Treatment

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An experimental device that stimulates a nerve in the forehead may offer a safe and effective way to control hard-to-treat epilepsy. Researchers at UCLA studied 50 patients who experienced drug-resistant seizures. Using the device, subjects were able to stimulate the trigeminal nerve with electrical pulses. This caused further electrical activity in the brain and reduced seizure activity by about 40 percent. The external Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation device is still experimental and has not yet been approved by the FDA. If further trials demonstrate continued safety and effectiveness, it may become an option for people shoes seizures have not responded to medication.

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Would the above also be helpful for people who suffer with trigeminal neuralgia? I have been battling this disease off and on since being rear-ended in a car accident 15 years ago (as the years pass, it is more "on" and rarely "off"). It is treated with the same drugs used for epilepsy. My ins. co. considers it a pre-existing condition so will not cover the $30,000 surgery.

I take a generic for Tegretol which does very little for the pain, but is better than taking nothing. Unfortunately it causes drowsiness and ringing in the ears. Other drugs regularly prescribed for TN have done nothing at all to help. I've tried just about everything, including chiropractic treatment and acupuncture (acupuncture made it much worse).

I can't afford to throw more money at things that don't work. If anyone has had any success without surgery, I'd love to hear about it. I've been told that after some types of surgeries commonly used, the pain returns in about 5 years; since scar tissue forms, repeat surgery may not work and the pain is worse. It's no surprise to me that some people have found suicide to be the answer.

I wonder if acupuncture would work on the trigeminal nerve?

I showed this article to my acupuncturist and he said that the Chinese have been stimulating the Trigeminal Nerve for well over a thousand years. Sounds like Big Medicine is poaching.

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