Deep Brain Stimulation as a Treatment for Refractory Epilepsy: Review of the Current State-of-the-Art
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Epilepsy affects ∼ 1% of the global population, and 33% of patients are nonresponsive to medication and must seek alternative treatment options. Alternative options such as surgery and ablation exist but are not appropriate treatment plans for some patients. Neurostimulation methods such as vagal nerve stimulation, responsive neural stimulation, and deep brain stimulation (DBS) are viable alternatives for medically refractory patients. DBS stimulation has been used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease, dystonia, and pain management. For the treatment of epilepsy, DBS has been found to be an effective treatment plan, with promising results of reduced seizure frequency and intensity. In this review, we discuss DBS surgery and equipment, mechanisms of DBS for epilepsy, and efficacy, technological specifications, and suggestions for future research. We also review a historical summary of experiments involving DBS for epilepsy. Our literature review suggests that further studies are warranted for medically refractory epilepsy using DBS.
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