New Device Helps Children with Drug-Resistant Epilepsy Manage Seizures

Published on: 04/25/2018
Grant Alacalde is a typical young boy with a love for all kinds of sports, especially baseball and football. His life was turned upside down when he contracted encephalitis at age 9. A complication of the disease triggered him to experience recurrent seizures that did not respond to traditional epilepsy medications. 
Dr. Anne Hyslop, a pediatric neurologist who sees patients at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, recommended Grant use vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) therapy, in which a small device implanted in the chest transmits electrical impulses to the brain throughout the day  to control and prevent seizures before they start.
Medical technology company LivaNova recently received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a new VNS therapy device, the SenTiva implantable generator.

SenTiva implantable generator

Grant is the first pediatric patient in South Florida to utilize the SenTiva VNS device, which is currently the smallest and lightest responsive therapy for epilepsy available on the market. The device, used in combination with epilepsy medications, has been shown to be effective in reducing seizure frequency and duration. 
Grant, now 11, is responding well to VNS therapy and has better control of his seizures so he can focus on his passion – playing team sports.
Grant with a baseball cap and mitt playing catch.

Watch this news segment featuring Grant on Local 10 News:
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