Learn about an app designed to help paralyzed patients, a system developed to provide head impact data, and a new use for an antiepileptic drug.
An innovative app for stroke victims and their families, a mouthguard that provides real-time data, and a new, FDA-approved use for an antiepileptic drug made the news this week.
A total of 85.6 million Americans are living with some form of cardiovascular disease or the after-effects of stroke.1 A new app was designed to help patients paralyzed by a stroke communicate with loved ones. Using a special Brain-Computer Interface (BCI), paralyzed patients unable to speak, such as stroke victims, can communicate with friends and family. The BCI transmits brain activity data to a mobile device. The data is processed and the I.am.here app displays the patient’s emotion in human language. The app can store a history of conversations for up to 30 days so users can see full information on past dialogs.2
Approximately 446,788 sports-related head injuries were treated at U.S. hospital emergency rooms in 2009.3 A new system allows staff on the sidelines to view real-time data on player head impacts. Functioning like a standard “boil and bite” mouthguard, the Vector Mouthguard contains a microchip that can measure skull movement. The system monitors the linear and rotational impacts above a certain threshold of all players wearing an active mouthguard. Data is transferred to a user interface in real time and saved on a secure cloud-based system. Not meant as a diagnostic device, the system measures the location and level of any given impact, which helps medical staff, trainers, and coaches determine if a player can safely remain on the field.4
Between 2.2 and 3 million people in the United States have epilepsy and about one-third of people with epilepsy live with uncontrolled seizures because no available treatment works for them.5 This week the FDA approved Fycompa for adjunctive treatment of primary generalized tonic-clonic (PGTC) seizures in 12-year-old and older epilepsy patients.6 The drug was first approved in 2012 for adjunctive treatment for partial-onset seizures with or without secondarily generalized seizures in patients with epilepsy aged 12 years or older.7 Fycompa is the only antiepileptic drug to target the AMPA receptor.
1. American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – At-a-Glance. 2015. http://www.heart.org/idc/groups/ahamah-public/@wcm/@sop/@smd/documents/downloadable/ucm_470704.pdf. Accessed 24 June 2015.
2. I.am.here. http://www.iamhereapp.com/#app-block. Accessed 24 June 2015.
3. American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Sports-related head injury. Aug. 2014. http://www.aans.org/Patient%20Information/Conditions%20and%20Treatments/Sports-Related%20Head%20Injury.aspx. Accessed 24 June 2015.
4. i1Biometrics.com. Tackling sports injuries head on. http://i1biometrics.com/TacklingSportsImpactsHeadOn.pdf. Accessed 24 June 2015.
5. Shafer PA. About Epilepsy. Jan 2014. http://www.epilepsy.com/learn/about-epilepsy-basics. Accessed 24 June 2015.
6. FDA. NDA 202834/S-005 (FDA approved labeling text dated 6/19/2015). http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2015/202834s005lbl.pdf. Accessed 24 June 2015.
7. FDA. FDA approves Fycompa to treat seizures. 24 Oct 2012. http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm325038.htm. Accessed 24 June 2015.