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Deep Brain Stimulation for the Treatment of Epilepsy

Jyoti Pillai, MD1 and Michael R Sperling, MD2

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder that is associated with significant rates of morbidity and mortality if seizures are uncontrolled. Despite the introduction of many new antiepileptic drugs, >30% of patients remain refractory to medical therapy [1]. Although some of these patients might have seizures that are amenable to epilepsy surgery, many are not candidates for surgical resection. Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) can be considered in these patients. However, only 30–40% of patients with partial seizures report a response to VNS, which is nearly always palliative [2]. Alternative therapies need to be explored in these patients.

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