Low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation for the treatment of refractory partial epilepsy: a controlled clinical study

Epilepsia. 2012 Oct;53(10):1782-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2012.03626.x. Epub 2012 Sep 5.


Purpose: This study was designed to evaluate the therapeutic effect of low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on patients with refractory partial epilepsy.

Methods: Sixty-four patients with refractory focal epilepsy were screened and 60 patients were randomly divided into two groups by stimulation intensity: 90% (group 1) or 20% (group 2) of resting motor threshold (rMT). Seizure frequency and interictal EEG epileptic discharges were compared between the baseline and follow-up periods.

Key findings: Seizures significantly decreased following 2-weeks high intensity (90% rMT) rTMS treatment compared with baseline level (p < 0.05). rTMS also decreased interictal epilepsy discharges and improved the scales of Symptom Checklist-90 significantly (p < 0.05). Seizures and spikes in the follow-up period in the patients who received low intensity (20% rMT) rTMS did not show any difference compared with baseline data (p > 0.05, respectively).

Significance: Low-frequency high intensity rTMS (90% rMT) delivered into the epileptogenic zone had a significant antiepileptic effect on patients with refractory partial seizures. rTMS treatment can also reduce the interictal epileptic discharge frequency and improve the psychological condition of these patients.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Behavioral Symptoms / diagnosis
  • Behavioral Symptoms / etiology
  • Electroencephalography
  • Electromyography
  • Epilepsies, Partial / complications
  • Epilepsies, Partial / pathology
  • Epilepsies, Partial / psychology*
  • Epilepsies, Partial / therapy*
  • Evoked Potentials, Motor / physiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Video Recording
  • Young Adult