Drug Resistent Epilepsy Responds to Stimulation

Epilepsy patients have significant reduction in seizures from trigeminal nerve stimulation

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Pharmaceutical treatment of epilepsy is the predominant therapy for most patients. For an estimated one million patients with epilepsy, these drugs simply don't work.

A new nerve stimulation treatment called trigeminal nerve stimulation (TNS) is worn attached to the patients belt or carried in their pocket. This external stimulator wires then go under the patient's clothing and emit electrodes to the nerve known to inhibit seizures. Phase II trial shows TNS reduces seizures in 40 percent of drug-resistant epilepsy patients.

"Ask your doctor about new epolepsy treatments."

Dr. Christopher DeGiorgio, a UCLA professor of neurology and lead inventor of TNS announced this new nerve stimulation offers can be delivered to both sides of the brain at high frequencies. Electrical energy doesn't travel directly into the brain, so TNS provides a new, safe method to adjust the brain.

DeGiorgio continued to explain TNS worked well in 40 percent of patients during this Phase II trial.  Working well in this case is defined by at least a 50 percent reduction in seizures.

He finds this very significant. Degiorgio concludes that a safe, non-invasive approach to neuromodulation compares quite nicely with surgical or pharmaceutical options for drug-resistant epilepsy.

Along with the reduction in seizures, patients also had their spirits improve.  One of the common side effects in people with epilepsy is depression, so spirits improving could hopefully enhance quality of lives as well.

These results go along well with the positive Phase I trial reported in 2009.

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Review Date: 
May 26, 2011
Last Updated:
June 7, 2011