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Epilepsia. 2012 Oct;53(10):1782-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2012.03626.x. Epub 2012 Sep 5.

Low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation for the treatment of refractory partial epilepsy: a controlled clinical study.

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Department of Neurology, Xuan Wu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.



This study was designed to evaluate the therapeutic effect of low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on patients with refractory partial epilepsy.


Sixty-four patients with refractory focal epilepsy were screened and 60 patients were randomly divided into two groups by stimulation intensity: 90% (group 1) or 20% (group 2) of resting motor threshold (rMT). Seizure frequency and interictal EEG epileptic discharges were compared between the baseline and follow-up periods.


Seizures significantly decreased following 2-weeks high intensity (90% rMT) rTMS treatment compared with baseline level (p < 0.05). rTMS also decreased interictal epilepsy discharges and improved the scales of Symptom Checklist-90 significantly (p < 0.05). Seizures and spikes in the follow-up period in the patients who received low intensity (20% rMT) rTMS did not show any difference compared with baseline data (p > 0.05, respectively).


Low-frequency high intensity rTMS (90% rMT) delivered into the epileptogenic zone had a significant antiepileptic effect on patients with refractory partial seizures. rTMS treatment can also reduce the interictal epileptic discharge frequency and improve the psychological condition of these patients.

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