Evaluating, Expanding on Responsive Neurostimulation in Older Adults: Vineet Punia, MD, MS


The neurologist from Cleveland Clinic stressed the potential for responsive neurostimulation in older populations with epilepsy and the need for expanded research.

"There’s always a concern for safety when we are operating on older individuals and implanting this device, which is a chronic device that they would carry around [for the rest of] their life. We found out that it was equally safe or, in fact, safer in the small cohort.”

At the 2021 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting, April 17-22, data from a single-center, retrospective study of 30 elderly individuals with epilepsy revealed that responsive neurostimulation (RNS) is a feasible and safe therapy for this patient population who cannot undergo epilepsy surgery. To date, there has been little to no data reported on the safety and efficacy of RNS in the elderly.

Among the 12 (21%) patients in the cohort who were 50 years or older at the time of RNS implantation, 8 (67%) had at least 50% seizure reduction, of whom 3 (25%) became seizure free. In comparison, 23 (52%) of the younger adults had at least 50% seizure reduction. of whom 5 (11%) became seizure free. Lead author Vineet Punia, MD, MS, and colleagues noted in the abstract that multicenter, larger studies are needed to better understand the efficacy and utility of RNS in this patient population.

Punia, neurologist from Cleveland Clinic, sat down with NeurologyLive to discuss what his findings suggest, as well as what the next steps in research are for RNS in older adults.

For more coverage of AAN 2021, click here.

Zawar I, Mackow M, Aexopoulos A, Nair D, Punia V. The efficacy, safety and outcomes of responsive neurostimulation (RNS) therapy in older adults. Presented at 2021 American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting; April 17-22. Abstract P7.057
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