JOURNAL ARTICLE

[Newer treatment of epilepsy—brain pacemakers and transcranial magnetic stimulation]

Naoki Akamatsu
Rinshō Shinkeigaku, Clinical Neurology 2005, 45 (11): 928-30
16447765
The antiepileptic medication and surgical treatment had brought many patients with epilepsy to be seizure free, however, one third of the patients continue to experience seizures. There has recently been an explosion of research into brain stimulation for treating these intractable epilepsy patients. This is largely due to the success of deep brain stimulation of movement disorders. The intelligent cardiac pacemakers also stimulated the neurosurgeons to utilize the implantable devices. In this paper, brain stimulations with vagus nerve stimulator (VNS), depth electrodes, subdural electrodes, external responsive neuro-stimulator, implantable brain stimulator and transcranial magnetic stimulator are reviewed. The VNS had been approved in Europe and United States for clinical use. The efficacy of the VNS has already proven by the controlled trials. Stimulation of the thalamus, subthalamic nucleus and hippocampus showed some efficacy in a small number of patients, however, large scale traials remains to be undertaken. External responsive neurostimulator has shown efficacy and safety to justify further studies with implantable brain stimulators. The multi-center cooperative study is ongoing in the US to examine the usefulness of the implantable stimulator. Animal studies showed efficacy of the transcranial magnetic stimulation for the treatment and prevention of the seizures and status epilepticus.

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