Responsive Neurostimulator (RNS)

New Treatment for Seizures

What is Responsive Neurostimulator (RNS)?

In responsive neurostimulation, a small battery-powered device called a neurostimulator is implanted in the patient’s skull. The neurostimulator is connected to thin wires, called leads, which the surgeon places in the area or areas of the brain where the patient’s seizures originate. The neurostimulator monitors the brain’s electrical activity, and when activity that could lead to a seizure is detected, it delivers a pulse of electrical stimulation through the leads. The electrical pulse may stop the seizure before it begins.

Watch an overview of Responsive Neurostimulation (RNS) for Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome – Presented by Dr. Michael Chez

About the RNS® System:

The RNS® System is a smart device that is adjustable and reversible. Where it is placed and how it is used is tailored to each person. It learns what is going on in a person’s brain, and settings can be adjusted for each person.

Most comprehensive epilepsy centers that provide epilepsy surgery can also offer the RNS® System. Before having the RNS placed, a person must go though detailed testing to see where their seizures arise in the brain.

  • The RNS® System is similar to a heart pacemaker. It can monitor brain waves, then respond to activity that is different from usual or that looks like a seizure.
  • A device or stimulator is placed in the bone covering the brain. Tiny wires or leads are placed in one or two places on top of the brain where seizure activity may begin. These wires connect to the stimulator. Once the wires and device are placed, nothing can be seen.
  • The system can give small pulses or bursts of stimulation to the brain when anything unusual is detected. This can stop seizure activity before the actual seizure begins. Or it could stop seizure activity from spreading from a small focal seizure to a generalized seizure.
  • People cannot feel the stimulation once it’s programmed. It doesn’t cause pain or any unusual feelings.
  • It’s not permanent. It can be turned off or removed if it doesn’t work or a person doesn’t wish to use it any longer.

More information about medication access assistance to patients, caregivers, and their medical teams can be found at

The information here is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment, or medical advice and should not be considered a substitute for advice from a healthcare professional. Content provided is for informational purposes only. LGS Foundation is not responsible for actions taken based on the information included on this webpage. Please consult with a physician or other healthcare professional regarding any medical or health-related diagnosis or treatment options.

Updated March 15, 2022