In the early view issue of the journal Epilepsia, Drs. Valentin and colleagues from an international consortium in both the United Kingdom and Spain present an analysis of deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the thalamus as a treatment for medically-refractive epilepsy in both generalized and frontal lobe epilepsy.
by Joseph I. Sirven, MD
In the study, 11 patients had DBS performed (five with frontal lobe epilepsy and six with generalized epilepsy). Of five patients with frontal lobe epilepsy, only one patient had greater than 50% improvement of seizure frequency during the blinded period.
All six patients with generalized epilepsy had greater than 50% improvement in seizure frequency during the blind period.
In the long-term extension phase, five of the six patients scored greater than 50% improvement in the frequency of major seizures.
Among patients with generalized epilepsy, the DBS implantation itself appears to be effective as two patients remained seizure free (one for 12 months and the other for 50 months) and the remaining four had a 50 to 91% improvement in the initial three months.
The authors concluded that deep brain stimulation of the central median thalamus appears to be safe and efficacious, particularly in patients with refractory generalized epilepsy; however, central median nucleus thalamic stimulation was not as effective in frontal lobe epilepsy.
Last Reviewed: 10/31/2013