Brain Stimulation Can Treat Neurological Disorders, Says Study

23 March 2010 (Last Updated March 23rd, 2010 18:30)

Brain stimulation could provide a promising new solution to treating epilepsy, a common neurological disorder characterised by recurrent seizures, a new study has found. Deep brain stimulation (DBS), a therapy involving the implantation of a medical device called a brain pacemaker, whi

Brain stimulation could provide a promising new solution to treating epilepsy, a common neurological disorder characterised by recurrent seizures, a new study has found.

Deep brain stimulation (DBS), a therapy involving the implantation of a medical device called a brain pacemaker, which sends electrical impulses to specific parts of the brain, has been trialled by US researchers from Stanford University.

The study was conducted on 110 people, who had electrodes implanted in their brains and their seizures monitored.

The researchers observed a 41% reduction in seizures after 13 months in patients who received brain stimulation compared with a 14.5% decline in seizures in a control group, which did not receive stimulation.

Study leaders did, however, caution that DBS is invasive and serious complications can occur, therefore additional clinical knowledge would help to determine the best candidates for the therapy.

The research is published online in the journal Epilepsia.