UK Teen Becomes World’s First to Receive Groundbreaking Brain Implant for Epilepsy Control

UK Teen Becomes World’s First to Receive Groundbreaking Brain Implant for Epilepsy Control

A UK teenager with severe epilepsy has become the first person in the world to receive a revolutionary brain implant designed to control seizures.

Oran Knowlson, a 13-year-old from Somerset, underwent the surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) in October, dramatically reducing his seizure frequency and severity.

A Life-Altering Procedure

Oran’s Battle with Epilepsy

Oran Knowlson has suffered from Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a treatment-resistant form of epilepsy, since the age of three.

His condition caused him to experience hundreds of seizures daily, severely impacting his quality of life.

The frequent and severe seizures often led to loss of consciousness and required life-saving resuscitation, placing him at a high risk of sudden unexpected death from epilepsy (SUDEP).

The Neurostimulator Implant

In a groundbreaking procedure, Oran was fitted with a neurostimulator developed by Amber Therapeutics.

The device, known as the Picostim, is surgically placed under the skull, with electrodes inserted deep into the brain to reach the thalamus, a central hub for neural activity.

These electrodes deliver mild electrical stimulation aimed at disrupting the pathways that facilitate seizures.

The surgery, led by consultant pediatric neurosurgeon Martin Tisdall and his team at GOSH, involved precise placement of the electrodes to within less than a millimeter.

The neurostimulator is anchored to the skull and can be recharged using a headset.

Positive Outcomes and Improved Quality of Life

Oran in charging headset

Significant Reduction in Seizures

Since the neurostimulator was activated in December, Oran has experienced an 80% reduction in daytime seizures.

The severity of the seizures has also decreased, allowing him to regain a sense of normalcy and independence. Oran’s mother, Justine Knowlson, has observed significant improvements in his behavior and engagement with the world around him.

Renewed Hope for the Future

The successful implantation and positive outcomes have provided a new lease on life for Oran and his family.

Justine remarked on her son’s newfound ability to express himself and his increased engagement in daily activities, including riding a horse—a testament to his regained independence.

The CADET Pilot and Future Prospects

Expanding the Trial

The success of Oran’s procedure is part of the Children’s Adaptive Deep Brain Stimulation for Epilepsy Trial (CADET), a collaborative effort involving GOSH, University College London, King’s College Hospital, and the University of Oxford.

The trial aims to recruit three more patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome initially, with plans to include a total of 22 patients in a full-scale trial.

Building the Evidence Base

Martin Tisdall emphasized the transformative potential of deep brain stimulation (DBS) for epilepsy patients who have limited treatment options.

The goal is to establish DBS as a standard treatment for pediatric epilepsy, offering hope to countless families affected by this debilitating condition.


Oran Knowlson’s journey from enduring hundreds of seizures daily to experiencing a significant reduction in seizure activity marks a monumental step forward in epilepsy treatment.

The innovative brain implant has not only improved his quality of life but also paved the way for future advancements in managing severe epilepsy.

The ongoing CADET trial holds promise for many other children and their families, signaling a new era in the fight against epilepsy.

Also Read- Rising Cases of Anaplasmosis in Canada: What You Need to Know

Dr. Vijay Gangle

Meet Dr. Vijay Gangle, a final year MBBS student with a passion for promoting health and wellness. With a keen understanding of health and diseases, Dr. Gangle dedicates his time to researching and reviewing various health products. His insightful analyses delve into the ingredients, quality, and suitability of these products for maintaining optimal health. Through his reviews, Dr. Gangle aims to empower individuals with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their well-being. Join him on his journey to uncovering the best solutions for a healthier life."

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top