Inside His HEAD – World’s FIRST Device!


Oran Knowlson, a young boy afflicted with severe epilepsy, has entered the history books as the first human in the history of the world to receive a cybernetic implant in his skull which can control his seizures.

The so-called “Picostim neurostimulator,” which is manufactured by British company Amber Theraputics, delivers electrical pulses into the deep brain. Epileptic seizures are characterized by abnormal bursts of neurological electrical activity in the brain. The device’s pulses are regularized and aim to interdict and/or disrupt the the electrical activity associated with a seizure. The device has, so far, reduced Oran’s daytime seizures by a staggering eighty percent.

Justine, Oran’s mother, shared her joy over the improvement in her son’s quality of life with the BBC. The illness that, in her view, robbed her son of his childhood, is now under control. Oran also has ADHD and Autism, but these pale in comparison to the devastation visited upon his life by the epilepsy. After the onset of the epilepsy, Oran went from being bright and curious into a spiral of rapid deterioration and skill loss.

The device was implanted during October 2023 in an eight-hour surgical procedure at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital. The surgical team, led by pediatric neurosurgeon Martin Tisdale, inserted a pair of electrodes deep into Oran’s brain, butting them up against the thalamus. Oran was just twelve years old at the time.

Oran, who hails from Somerset, has a condition known as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, which he developed at age three. The syndrome is a treatment-resistant form of epilepsy which subjects him to anything from dozens to hundreds of seizures per day.

The device now controlling Oran’s seizures is part of a series of medical trials aimed at assessing the efficacy and safety of deep brain stimulation in cases of severe epilepsy. The program is called the CADET Project, and involves a partnership between University College London, the University of Oxford, Treat Ormond Street Hospital, and King’s College Hospital.