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Epilepsy Res. 1998 Jun;31(1):39-46.

High-frequency stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus suppresses absence seizures in the rat: comparison with neurotoxic lesions.

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  • 1U398 INSERM, Faculté de Médecine, Strasbourg, France. depaulis@neurochem.u-strasbg.fr


High-frequency electrical stimulation of deep brain structures has recently been developed for the surgical approach of neurologic disorders. Applied to the thalamus in tremors or to the subthalamic nucleus in Parkinson's disease, high-frequency stimulation has been demonstrated to exert a local inhibiting influence, leading to symptoms alleviation. In the present study, bilateral high-frequency stimulations (130 Hz) of the subthalamic nuclei suppressed ongoing spontaneous absence seizures in rats. This effect was dissociated from motor side-effects and appears specific to the subthalamic nucleus. Bilateral excitotoxic lesions of the subthalamic nuclei only partially suppressed absence-seizures. These results confirm the involvement of the basal ganglia system in the control of generalized seizures and suggest that high-frequency stimulations could be used in the treatment of some forms of seizures.

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