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Neural stimulation is a promising new technology for the treatment of medically-intractable seizures. Vagus-nerve stimulation (VNS) is licensed in several countries as an adjunctive therapy. VNS is as effective as antiepileptic drug therapy, and serious complications are rare. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is simple, non-invasive, and widely used in neurophysiology. Therapeutic results in a few studies are equivocal at best. Deep brain stimulation, although experimental, has been applied to the cerebellum, caudate nucleus, centromedian thalamus, anterior thalamus, subthalamus, hippocampus, and neocortical seizure foci. Preliminary results are encouraging, but not conclusive. Electrode implantation in the brain for indications other than seizures has been associated with a 5% risk for intracranial haemorrhage and 5% for infection. A controlled study of anterior thalamic stimulation in patients with intractable partial and secondarily generalised seizures has been started. Future investigations are likely to study extrathalamic sites of stimulation, and effects of stimulation contingent upon detection of or prediction of EEG patterns of epileptiform activity.
View details for Web of Science ID 000188818500021
View details for PubMedID 14747003