John Libbey Eurotext

Epileptic Disorders

The Educational Journal of the

Manipulating the epileptic brain using stimulation: a review of experimental and clinical studies Volume 11, numéro 2, June 2009

Institut des Neurosciences, INSERM U836-UJF-CEA, Grenoble, Neurology Department, Neurosurgery Department, Grenoble University Hospital, Grenoble, France, Institute for Children and Adolescents with Epilepsy – IDEE, Hospices Civils de Lyon, France, Department of Neurology, Klinikum Grosshadern, University of Munich, Germany
  • Mots-clés : neurostimulation, vagus nerve, cerebellum, thalamus, basal ganglia, cortex, hippocampus
  • DOI : 10.1684/epd.2009.0255
  • Page(s) : 100-12
  • Année de parution : 2009

Neurostimulation represents an interesting alternative therapy for patients resistant to drug treatment or who cannot benefit from resective surgery. Theoretically, neurostimulation allows the control of seizures to be tailored to the individual patient and specific form of epilepsy. Here, we review both experimental and clinical studies that have reported the possible control of epileptic seizures by means of different approaches using electrical stimulation (vagus nerve stimulation, deep brain stimulation and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation). The rationale for targeting specific areas that have thus far been considered (i.e., vagus nerve, cerebellum, anterior or centromedial thalamus, basal ganglia, cortex and temporal lobe) is addressed in the light of experimental data and clinical effectiveness in different models and forms of epilepsy. The type of seizures that can be considered for neurostimulation, as well as the optimal parameters such as stimulation frequency and modes of stimulation (chronic, continuous or adaptative), are discussed to determine the best candidates for such a therapeutic strategy. This review points out the need for improved knowledge of neural circuits that generate seizures and/or allow their propagation, as well as a better understanding of the mechanisms of action of neurostimulation.