Skip Navigation LinksHome > June 2013 - Volume 19 - Issue 3, Epilepsy > Neurostimulation for Drug-Resistant Epilepsy
CONTINUUM: Lifelong Learning in Neurology:
doi: 10.1212/01.CON.0000431397.61970.2b
Review Articles

Neurostimulation for Drug-Resistant Epilepsy

DeGiorgio, Christopher M. MD, FAAN; Krahl, Scott E. PhD

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Purpose of Review: The purpose of this review is to provide an evidence-based update on the neurostimulation options available for patients with drug-resistant epilepsy in the United States and in European countries.

Recent Findings: The field of neurostimulation for epilepsy has grown dramatically since 1997, when vagus nerve stimulation became the first device to be approved for epilepsy by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). New data from recently completed randomized controlled trials are available for deep brain stimulation of the anterior thalamus, responsive neurostimulation, and trigeminal nerve stimulation. Although vagus nerve stimulation is the only device currently approved in the United States, deep brain stimulation and responsive neurostimulation devices are awaiting FDA approval. Deep brain stimulation, trigeminal nerve stimulation, and transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation are now approved for epilepsy in the European Union. In this article, the mechanisms of action, safety, and efficacy of new neurostimulation devices are reviewed, and the key advantages and disadvantages of each are discussed.

Summary: The exponential growth of the field of neuromodulation for epilepsy is an exciting development; these new devices provide physicians with new options for patients with drug-resistant epilepsy.

© 2013 American Academy of Neurology


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