Deep brain stimulation for medically refractory epilepsy.
ABSTRACT Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder that affects 0.5-1% of the population. Up to one-third of patients will have incompletely controlled seizures or debilitating side effects of anticonvulsant medications. Although some of these patients may be candidates for resection, many are not. The desire to find alternative treatments for epilepsy has led to a resurgence of interest in the use of deep brain stimulation (DBS), which has been used quite successfully in movement disorders. Small pilot studies and open-label trials have yielded results that may support the use of DBS in selected patients with refractory seizures. Because of the diversity of regions involved with seizure initiation and propagation, a variety of targets for stimulation have been examined. Moreover, stimulation parameters such as amplitude, frequency, pulse duration, and continuous versus intermittent on vary from one study to the next. More studies are necessary to determine if there is an appropriate population of seizure patients for DBS, the optimal target, and the most efficacious stimulation parameters.
- Epilepsia 12/1955; 4:19-28. · 3.91 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Five patients with clinical and EEG primary generalized or multifocal uncontrollable seizures underwent stereotaxic implantation of electrodes in both centromedian thalamic nuclei (CM). Each electrode consisted of a semiflexible array of three platinum-iridium wires, isolated except at their tips, which were separated by 4 mm. Bipolar, biphasic rectangular pulses were delivered in trains of 1 min every 5 min, alternating right and left side for sessions 2 h/day. Patients were followed for 3 months with charting of clinical seizures, daily 4-h EEG recordings from scalp and depth for 5 days and weekly thereafter. Baseline and 3-month evaluation of psychological performance through selected Beta R, Wechsler memory scale, visual discrimination, MMPI, and Zung's rated depression scale. Tests were evaluated for significant changes by the parametric student's t test and Mann Whitney nonparametric test. Clinical seizures were significantly reduced by electrical stimulation (ES), as were EEG interictal spikes and EEG slow waves. Psychological performance improved beyond that expected by reduction in seizure activity. ESCM induced a local afterdischarge (AD) that progressively developed in time and intensity, and the beneficial effects outlasted ES for periods of weeks to months, suggesting that a state of hyperexcitability of stimulated tissue, similar to "kindling," was created by chronic ES.Epilepsia 01/1987; 28(4):421-30. · 3.91 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Stimulation of centromedian (CM) thalamic nuclei has been proposed as a treatment for seizures. We implanted programmable subcutaneous (s.c.) stimulators into CM bilaterally in 7 patients with intractable epilepsy to test feasibility and safety. Stimulation was on or off in 3-month blocks, with a 3-month washout period in a double-blind, cross-over protocol. Stimuli were delivered as 90-microseconds pulses at 65 pulses/s, 1 min of each 5 min for 2 h/day, with voltage set to half the sensory threshold. Stimulation was safe and well-tolerated, with a mean reduction of tonic-clonic seizure frequency of 30% with respect to baseline when stimulator was on versus a decrease of 8% when the stimulator was off. There was no improvement in total number of generalized seizures with stimulation, and treatment differences were not statistically significant. Stimulation at low intensity did not alter the EEG acutely, but high-intensity stimulation induced slow waves or 2-3 Hz spike-waves with ipsilateral frontal maximum. In an open-label follow-up segment with stimulator trains continuing for 24 h/day, 3 of 6 patients reported at least a 50% decrease in seizure frequency. There were no side effects. This pilot project demonstrated the feasibility of controlled study of thalamic stimulation in epilepsy, but further study will be needed to demonstrate efficacy.Epilepsia 33(5):841-51. · 3.91 Impact Factor