Automated seizure abatement in humans using electrical stimulation

Ivan Osorio, Mark G. Frei, Sridhar Sunderam, Jonathon Giftakis, Naresh C. Bhavaraju, Scott F. Schaffner, Steven B. Wilkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

243 Scopus citations


The need for novel, efficacious, antiseizure therapies is widely acknowledged. This study investigates in humans the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of high-frequency electrical stimulation (HFES; 100-500Hz) triggered by automated seizure detections. Eight patients were enrolled in this study, which consisted of a control and an experimental phase. HFES was delivered directly to the epileptogenic zone (local closed-loop) in four patients and indirectly, through anterior thalami (remote closed-loop), to the other four patients for every other automated seizure detection made by a validated algorithm. Interphase (control vs experimental phase) and intraphase (stimulated vs nonstimulated) comparisons of clinical seizure rate and relative severity (clinical and electrographic) were performed, and differences were assessed using effect size. Patients were deemed "responders" if seizure rate was reduced by at least 50%; the remaining patients were deemed "nonresponders." All patients completed the study; rescue medications were not required. There were 1,491 HFESs (0.2% triggered after-discharges). Mean change in seizure rate in the local closed-loop group was -55.5% (-100 to +36.8%); three of four responders had a mean change of -86% (-100 to -58.8%). In the remote closed-loop, the mean change of seizure rate was -40.8% (-72.9 to +1.4%); two of four responders had a mean change of -74.3% (-75.6 to -72.9%). Mean effect size was zero in the local closed-loop (responders: beneficial and medium to large in magnitude) and negligible in the remote closed-loop group (responders: beneficial and medium to large). HFES effects on epileptogenic tissue were immediate and also outlasted the stimulation period. This study demonstrates the feasibility and short-term safety of automated HFES for seizure blockage, and also raises the possibility that it may be beneficial in pharmaco-resistant epilepsies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-268
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Automated seizure abatement in humans using electrical stimulation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this