Twenty-three patients with various intractable seizure patterns were divided into four groups based on their most frequent seizure type and their clinical and EEG response to chronic electrical stimulation of the centromedian thalamic nuclei (ESCM): group A, generalized tonic-clonic (GTC, n = 9); group B, partial motor (Rasmussen type) (n = 3); group C, complex partial seizures (CPS, n = 5); and group D, generalized tonic seizures (Lennox-Gastaut type) (n = 6). CM were radiologically and electrophysiologically localized by means of stereotaxic landmarks and by thalamically induced scalp recruiting-like responses and desynchronization. ESCM consisted of daily 2-h stimulation sessions for 3 months. Each stimulus consisted of a 1-min train of square pulses with a 4-min interstimulus interval, alternating right and left CM. Each pulse was 1.0 ms in duration at 60/s frequency and 8-15 V (400-1,250 microA) amplitude. Voltage (V), current flow (microA) and impedance (k omega) at the electrode tips were kept constant. A significant decrease in the number of seizures per month and paroxysmal EEG waves per 10-s spochs occurred in group A patients between the baseline period (BL) and the ESCM period. These changes persisted for > 3 months after discontinuation of ESCM (poststimulation period, Post). Post was accompanied by a significant decrease in the number of paroxysmal EEG discharges. A substantial decrease in seizures and paroxysmal discharges was also observed in patients of group B. In contrast, patients of groups C and D showed no significant changes from BL to ESCM and Post periods, except for a significant decrease in the number of seizures in group D patients from BL to Post periods.