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Neurostimulation signals option in treating epilepsy.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Deep brain stimulation of the anterior thalamic nuclei shows promise in the management of epilepsy, judging from the findings of a small pilot study, Robert Fisher, M.D., said at the annual meeting of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

If further research results confirm the procedure's initial promise, deep brain stimulation (DBS) could become one of a group of targeted therapies, including radiation and local drug perfusion, that control severe epileptic seizures, said Dr. Fisher of Stanford (Calif.) University.

The study consisted of seven men and seven women, 19-44 years old, with partial and apparently generalized tonicoclonic seizures originating in the temporofrontal lobes and from multifocal regions.

Treatment efficacy was expressed in terms of responder rate, defined as the percentage of patients who experienced a decline of 50% or more in the number of seizures after DBS. The responder rate was 57% as long as 12 months post procedure.

There was no control group. However, these findings compare favorably with data from controlled clinical trials involving gabapentin and lamotrigine in which responder rates were 15%-20% among patients taking the drugs, Dr. Fisher said.

One concern is DBS may inhibit neurologic activity at seizure foci but stimulate activity in surrounding brain.

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Title Annotation:Clinical Rounds
Author:MacReady, Norra
Publication:Pediatric News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2005
Words:203
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