Narrator: This is Science Today. Many patients with epilepsy control their symptoms with medication, but according to Evelyn Tecoma, the associate director of the Epilepsy Center at the University of California, San Diego, about a quarter to a third of patients don't respond well to drugs.
Tecoma: And for those quarter to a third of patients, their epilepsy can present very serious problems in life, including the inability to drive, having difficulty with certain kinds of occupations. The seizures may be so frequent that they actually cause the patient to fall or to have difficulty absorbing information, to have troubles in schools or for learning.
Narrator: This FDA recently approved of a device called the Vagus Nerve Stimulator, which resembles a pacemaker and provides a stimulus to the neck which control the seizures.
Tecoma: I think that the device is an excellent choice for people who have tried most of the medication either alone or and combination. It's a device which is positioned somewhere between the medication therapy and epilepsy surgery.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.