Epilepsy: What if cold could prevent seizures?

Categorie(s) : Innovation & Society, News, Research

Published : 3 December 2018

Cold can reversibly modify neural dynamics, including those involved in epileptic seizures. The challenge is how to produce cold deep in the brain and let the heat generated by the production of cold escape. Clinatec is investigating the issue under the Epicool project (part of the Carnot Exploratoire program).

The future implantable device will measure less than 3 mm in diameter; the energy produced will be released as light rather than as heat. Once implanted in the brain, the system will detect the precursors to epileptic seizures and will trigger the production of cold until neural activity has returned to normal.

The research, which is still in the very early exploratory stage, will include tests to assess the feasibility of the technology in terms of size and other factors. Proof-of-concept testing has already allowed the researchers to overcome several technological hurdles. Researchers at Clinatec are now tackling miniaturization of the system.

Contact: nicolas.aubert@cea.fr

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