by Internet Medical Society

How Effective is Deep Brain Stimulation for Epilepsy?

What is Deep Brain Stimulation?

There are several ways to treat epilepsy. The most common and initial method for treating mild forms of epilepsy is to use medications to reduce the symptoms or use surgical methods to stop the seizure activity. However, the results of these treatments vary from person to person and may be unsuccessful in some cases.

Deep brain stimulation (or DBS) is a highly-advanced epilepsy treatment technique which requires implanting tiny electrodes in the brain to stimulate it into stopping the seizure activity. This treatment therapy is used to reduce the symptoms of seizures (or the seizures themselves) using targeted electrical stimulation technology.

This is the ideal form of epilepsy treatment that is used in case medications and surgical methods have failed to address the problem successfully.

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How does Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) work?

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy aims to control the extra electrical activity in the brain using precise frequency of electrical impulses. This helps to reduce the severity and frequency of seizures. This surgery is helpful in reducing the seizure activity significantly, if not treating it outright.

The effects of this therapy are not immediately apparent and may take 12-24 months for being successful and significant. Anti-epileptic drugs (AED) are also administered alongside during this therapy to increase its effectiveness further.

This procedure is performed using a small battery-operated device (neuro-stimulator) that sends electrical impulses into the brain to specific parts only. The electrodes placed deep inside the anterior nucleus of thalamus (ANT) conduct these electrical impulses to the targeted parts of the brain that are responsible for seizures.

The neurosurgeon will perform this surgery to implant the electrodes inside the ANT region after administering general anesthesia to avoid pain and discomfort during the surgical procedure.

The first part of the surgical procedure requires the surgeon to drill a small hole in the skull and insert two very small electrodes inside the brain. MRI-guidance technique is used to insert the electrodes in the desired region of the brain carefully. The neurotransmitter is attached to the back and connects the electrodes inside the brain with two fine wires running from the electrodes to the neurotransmitter at the back.

The second part of the procedure requires implanting the neurotransmitter inside the skin in the upper chest portion (usually under the collar bone).

This neurotransmitter is then programmed by the neurosurgeon using a small hand-held computer device to set the frequency as well as strength of the electrical impulses to be transmitted into the brain.  The patient can later on, use their own personalized controlling device to manage the neurotransmitter.

What are the Risks associated with Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) therapy?

As is seen in any form of surgical procedure there are certain risks in the deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgical procedure, such as infection or blood clot, however the neurosurgeon will take every possible precaution to avoid these risks from arising.

Success Rate of Deep Brain Stimulation therapy

Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is increasingly being recognized as one of the best and most effective epilepsy treatment methods available today. This advanced epilepsy treatment technique can reduce the symptoms, as well as treat, epilepsy altogether. IndianMedTrip offers the best packages for deep brain stimulation surgery in India from the most trusted hospitals and clinics which are internationally accredited.

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