Chronic Subthreshold Cortical Stimulation to Treat Resistant Focal Epilepsy. Interview with:

Brian Nils Lundstrom, MD, PhD Department of Neurology Mayo Clinic Rochester, Minnesota

Dr. Brian Lundstrom

Brian Nils Lundstrom, MD, PhD
Department of Neurology
Mayo Clinic
Rochester, Minnesota What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: About as many people have drug-resistant focal epilepsy as have multiple sclerosis, and treatment options are limited.

This study describes an alternative treatment option that has proven very helpful for the majority of participants. Electrical stimulation is delivered continuously via implanted electrodes to the region of brain where seizures start. The electrical stimulation decreases the seizure-related discharges from the brain, and for about 40% of patients their disabling seizures were completely stopped. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: The approach for continuous electrical stimulation of the brain’s cortex is an alternative treatment for drug-resistant focal epilepsy. It would be an option for those for whom surgical removal of the seizure focus is not possible. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: These data are preliminary, and while the included patients have largely been very satisfied with the results, there is yet much work to be done to clarify how and when this approach works best. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: One benefit of this approach is that it is reversible, unlike surgical removal of part of the brain. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Lundstrom B, Van Gompel J, Britton J, et al. Chronic Subthreshold Cortical Stimulation to Treat Focal Epilepsy. JAMA Neurol.Published online September 19, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2016.2857.

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Last Updated on September 23, 2016 by Marie Benz MD FAAD