Electrical stimulation of the centromedian thalamic nucleus in control of seizures: long-term studies

Epilepsia. 1995 Jan;36(1):63-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1157.1995.tb01667.x.


Five patients with chronic incapacitating seizures averaging 15-5,000/month were selected for study. All patients had more than one seizure type and had received maximal doses of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). The centromedian thalamic nucleus (CM) was stimulated electrically through bilateral multicontact platinum electrodes stereotaxically placed in CM and connected to internalized pulse generators. Electrophysiologic confirmation of electrode position included thalamically elicited recruiting responses and EEG desynchronization recorded at the scalp. Stimulation parameters were adjusted individually in the range of 450-800-microA intensity, 65 pps, 0.09 ms, in 1-min trains, alternating right and left side stimulation and with 4-min intervals delivered for 2 h/day. Quantitative evaluation included frequency of seizures/month, number of maximal interictal paroxysmal discharges, and frequency of background activities counted in selected scalp EEG samples, taken throughout the observation period (7-33 months). Significance of changes was evaluated by parametric Student's t test. Generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTC) decreased dramatically, almost disappearing in all cases (p < 0.001), with a significant reduction in interictal paroxysmal discharges (p < 0.01) and a tendency toward an increase in EEG background frequency. Other generalized seizures (atypical absences) decreased significantly, but there was no change in the number of complex partial seizures (CPS). CM stimulation is useful in control of GTC, but its beneficial effect on other seizure types has not been established.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / instrumentation*
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy / therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prostheses and Implants*
  • Thalamic Nuclei / physiology*