A new wristwatch could help reduce the risk of an epileptic attack, helping patients to take steps to avert the possibility of a seizure.
Researchers at Mayo Clinic have been working on a high- tech wristwatch that monitors the patient’s vitals and other markers to correctly predict the risk of a seizure. The patients who wore the wristwatch wore these for between six and 12 months, and the researchers found that these devices actually helped alert wearers to the risk of a seizure. The warning provided approximately 30 minutes before the seizure occurred.
Six patients were studied, and the researchers found that the risk was correctly predicted consistently in five of these patients. The researchers say that the device provides a comfortable and wearable way for patients to correctly predict and forecast their risks of a seizure. In the study, patients who wore the wristwatch also suffered from epilepsy and had an implanted neurostimulation device for measuring brain activity. The device measures characteristics like body temperature changes, electrical characteristics of the skin, cardiac rate, blood flow rate and other data paving the way for a forecast of the seizure.
Just as a weather forecast can help prepare people for the kind of outdoor activities that can and cannot be performed, a wearable device like this helps people who suffer from epilepsy forecast their risks of a seizure, and accordingly plan their activities to avoid high- risk actions.
All patients in the study suffered from drug – resistant epilepsy. As many as 40 percent of epilepsy patients suffer from drug- resistant epilepsy which is also known as refractory or uncontrolled epilepsy. In this type of epilepsy, medications that are typically used to prevent epilepsy may not work to help prevent seizures.