Healthcast: Breakthrough epilepsy therapy

A 13-year-old girl in Minnesota is recovering from getting a new device implanted in her chest, designed to detect and prevent seizures by sensing a change in heart rate. 

Inside Children’s Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota, Rachel Malez recovers from a first-of-its-kind surgery. 

It’s a last resort option to control her terrible seizures, which started when she was six months old. 

Today, medications can’t stop the seizures that have taken her ability to speak. 

Relief may be near. After he neurosurgeon implanted a new device in her chest. 

The breakthrough it its ability to detect a change in heart rate, which normally spikes before seizures. 

When that happens, an electrical impulse stimulates the vagus nerve. 

It is a long-awaited therapy for epilepsy doctors, who said the technology cuts seizures by more than half. 

For Rachael’s parents, the biggest breakthrough of all would be to see the epilepsy taken away. 

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