Neurostimulation enables adjustable and reversible modulation of disease symptoms, including those of epilepsy. Two types of brain neuromodulation, comprising anterior thalamic deep brain stimulation and responsive neurostimulation at seizure foci, are supported by Class I evidence of effectiveness, and many other sites in the brain have been targeted in small trials of neurostimulation therapy for seizures. Animal studies have mainly assisted in the identification of potential neurostimulation sites and parameters, but much of the clinical work is only loosely based on fundamental principles derived from the laboratory, and the mechanisms by which brain neurostimulation reduces seizures remain poorly understood. The benefits of stimulation tend to increase over time, with maximal effect seen typically 1-2 years after implantation. Typical reductions of seizure frequency are approximately 40% acutely, and 50-69% after several years. Seizure intensity might also be reduced. Complications from brain neurostimulation are mainly associated with the implantation procedure and hardware, including stimulation-related paraesthesias, stimulation-site infections, electrode mistargeting and, in some patients, triggered seizures or even status epilepticus. Further preclinical and clinical experience with brain stimulation surgery should lead to improved outcomes by increasing our understanding of the optimal surgical candidates, sites and parameters.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nrneurol.2014.59
View details for PubMedID 24709892