Austin man with epilepsy uses brain implant to help control his seizures

An Austin man with epilepsy says it was a "no-brainer" to undergo a procedure to implant a device in his brain to help control his seizures.

Drew Grace, 29, has had seizures since he was 12, with recurrent seizures affecting his everyday life as a teenager and keeping him from activities he enjoyed like soccer and sleepovers.

After medications followed by resective surgery failed, Grace found himself in the office of Dr. Sami Aboumatar of the Austin Epilepsy Center where he learned about the RNS System.

The RNS System from NeuroPace is an implantable device, similar to a pacemaker, designed to continuously monitor brain activity, detect abnormal patterns and intervene to stop seizures before clinical symptoms appear.

It is the first and only medical device that can monitor and respond to brain activity.

Grace says after years of seizures and surgeries, the decision to go back under the knife for a revolutionary new brain procedure wasn't made lightly. While the healing process took longer than the average patient, Grace says, he did heal and the device worked, shocking his seizures before they shut him down.

For Grace, that means freedom from anxiety and the freedom to drive, but that the biggest relief is being able to show the people he loves that he's going to be okay in real-time.