GW leads clinical trial to reduce epileptic seizures in people with temporal lobe epilepsy

June 25, 2014, George Washington University

A first-of-its-kind clinical trial at the George Washington University (GW) Medical Faculty Associates employs low-frequency deep brain stimulation to potentially help reduce epileptic seizures in patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE)—the most common type of focal epilepsy that often necessitates surgical resection of the temporal lobe, risking memory function. Mohamad Koubeissi, M.D., director of the Epilepsy Center and associate professor of neurology at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, is leading the clinical trial, which follows research he published in the Annals of Neurology in Aug. 2013. His research found that low-frequency stimulation reduced epileptic seizures in patients by 92 percent without impairing memory.

"This is an innovative clinical trial that aims to identify novel modalities to reduce seizures in individuals with medically-intractable epilepsy, who are at risk of sustaining memory decline with the surgical removal of the temporal lobe," said Koubeissi. "Over the next few years, we hope that the results will be similar to previous research, leading to better treatment options for these patients."

In the past, in epilepsy has targeted gray matter structures using high frequencies, with limited success. Only the surgical resection of the temporal lobe was seen as an effective treatment option for those suffering from MTLE – a surgery that asks patients to weigh major risks such as potential memory impairment. Furthermore, many MTLE patients are not eligible for surgical resection.

Koubeissi's research tested low-frequency stimulation of a white matter tract, including the fornix, successfully activating the hippocampus and other areas of the declarative memory circuit. The results suggested that low-frequency stimulation is tolerable and significantly reduces seizures in patients with MTLE. In the next phase of this research, the clinical trial, Koubeissi hopes to attain similar results.

Explore further: MRI-guided laser procedure provides alternative to epilepsy surgery

Related Stories

MRI-guided laser procedure provides alternative to epilepsy surgery

June 2, 2014
For patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) that can't be controlled by medications, a minimally invasive laser procedure performed under MRI guidance provides a safe and effective alternative to surgery, suggests ...

Newly approved brain stimulator offers hope for individuals with uncontrolled epilepsy

April 22, 2014
A recently FDA-approved device has been shown to reduce seizures in patients with medication-resistant epilepsy by as much as 50 percent. When coupled with an innovative electrode placement planning system developed by physicians ...

Better memory with laser surgery for epilepsy

December 11, 2013
A laser-based procedure for people with medication-resistant epilepsy may result in better memory function than standard surgery, while still providing comparable seizure control rates, doctors say.

Epileptic seizures can propagate using functional brain networks

April 2, 2013
The seizures that affect people with temporal-lobe epilepsy usually start in a region of the brain called the hippocampus. But they are often able to involve other areas outside the temporal lobe, propagating via anatomically ...

New study shows surgery may be effective treatment option for older epilepsy patients

October 2, 2013
A recently published study by researchers from Spectrum Health and Henry Ford Hospital suggests that surgery may be an effective treatment for epilepsy in older patients, a finding that runs counter to conventional treatment ...

Depression common among children with temporal lobe epilepsy

May 23, 2013
A new study determined that children and adolescents with seizures involving the temporal lobe are likely to have clinically significant behavioral problems and psychiatric illness, especially depression. Findings published ...

Recommended for you

How your brain remembers what you had for dinner last night

January 17, 2018
Confirming earlier computational models, researchers at University of California San Diego and UC San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues in Arizona and Louisiana, report that episodic memories are encoded in the hippocampus ...

Recording a thought's fleeting trip through the brain

January 17, 2018
University of California, Berkeley neuroscientists have tracked the progress of a thought through the brain, showing clearly how the prefrontal cortex at the front of the brain coordinates activity to help us act in response ...

Midbrain 'start neurons' control whether we walk or run

January 17, 2018
Locomotion comprises the most fundamental movements we perform. It is a complex sequence from initiating the first step, to stopping when we reach our goal. At the same time, locomotion is executed at different speeds to ...

A 'touching sight': How babies' brains process touch builds foundations for learning

January 16, 2018
Touch is the first of the five senses to develop, yet scientists know far less about the baby's brain response to touch than to, say, the sight of mom's face, or the sound of her voice.

Brain zaps may help curb tics of Tourette syndrome

January 16, 2018
Electric zaps can help rewire the brains of Tourette syndrome patients, effectively reducing their uncontrollable vocal and motor tics, a new study shows.

Researchers identify protein involved in cocaine addiction

January 16, 2018
Mount Sinai researchers have identified a protein produced by the immune system—granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF)—that could be responsible for the development of cocaine addiction.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.