Cortical excitability and refractory epilepsy: a three-year longitudinal transcranial magnetic stimulation study

Int J Neural Syst. 2013 Feb;23(1):1250030. doi: 10.1142/S012906571250030X. Epub 2012 Dec 3.


Transcranial magnetic stimulation was used to study the effect of recurrent seizures on cortical excitability over time in epilepsy. 77 patients with firm diagnoses of idiopathic generalized epilepsy (IGE) or focal epilepsy were repeatedly evaluated over three years. At onset, all groups had increased cortical excitability. At the end of follow-up the refractory group was associated with a broad increase in cortical excitability. Conversely, cortical excitability decreased in all seizure free groups after introduction of an effective medication.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Cerebral Cortex / drug effects
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Epilepsies, Partial* / drug therapy
  • Epilepsies, Partial* / physiopathology
  • Epilepsies, Partial* / therapy
  • Epilepsy* / drug therapy
  • Epilepsy* / physiopathology
  • Epilepsy* / therapy
  • Evoked Potentials, Motor / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation / instrumentation
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation / methods*
  • Young Adult


  • Anticonvulsants