RECENT EXPERIMENTS SUGGEST that brain-machine interfaces could one day help prevent brain seizures in people who suffer from severe chronic epilepsy, which causes dozens of seizures a day. The condition ruins a patient's quality of life and can lead to permanent brain damage. To make matters worse, patients usually become unresponsive to traditional drug therapy.
A BMI for seizure control would function somewhat like a heart pacemaker. It would continuously monitor the brain's electrical activity for patterns that indicate an imminent attack. If the BMI sensed such a pattern, it would deliver an electrical stimulus to the brain or a peripheral nerve that would quench the rising storm or trigger the release of antiepileptic medication.