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Neurotherapeutics. 2008 January; 5(1): 59–67.
PMCID: PMC2941772

Deep brain stimulation for epilepsy


Many patients who suffer from medically refractory epilepsy are not candidates for resective brain surgery. Success of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in relieving a significant number of symptoms of various movement disorders paved the way for investigations into this modality for epilepsy. Open-label and small blinded trials have provided promising evidence for the use of DBS in refractory seizures, and the first randomized control trial of DBS of the anterior thalamic nucleus is currently underway. There are multiple potential targets, because many neural regions have been implicated in seizure propagation. Thus, it is difficult as yet to make any definitive judgments about the efficacy of DBS for seizure control. Future study is necessary to identify a patient population for whom this technique would be indicated, the most efficacious target, and optimal stimulation parameters.

Key Words: Deep brain stimulation, epilepsy, thalamus, seizure, closed-loop systems


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