While getting her master's degree at Duke University, UNC alumna Ashlyn Sanders received a diagnosis that shocked her.
"A couple weeks into the program, I had a really bad seizure incident which I had never had before,” Sanders said. “After pushing from my family, I ended up getting a full diagnostic exam, which included an MRI where they found a Chiari malformation.”
A Chiari malformation is a rare incurable neurological condition that affects the brain. Sanders had never had a seizure before and had no idea she had any kind of brain condition.
Now, she's launched a company and product that will help others like her.
Sanders created NeuroVice LLC, a medical technology company. NeuroVice is working to create a device that will help prevent tongue injury during seizures.
Sanders said the device, called PATI — short for Protector Against Tongue Injury — can be used by first responders or by individuals who become aware a seizure is coming.
“Typically before a seizure, a person will experience an aura, which is a physical or sensory change to the body which alerts the person that they will have a seizure," Sanders said.
Once the person experiences their aura, they administer the device, carried in a portable kit with a wrist band. Once the seizure is over, she said they will discard it and restock their kit with a new one.
Sanders hopes to acquire and license the technology in the future.