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Cureus. 2016 Aug 22;8(8):e744. doi: 10.7759/cureus.744.

Post-Traumatic, Drug-Resistant Epilepsy and Review of Seizure Control Outcomes from Blinded, Randomized Controlled Trials of Brain Stimulation Treatments for Drug-Resistant Epilepsy.

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School of Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.
Department of Neurosurgery, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center/Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences.
Department of Neurosurgery, Holy Cross Hospital.



Many post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE) patients become resistant to medications. Nervous stimulation as a treatment for drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE) is an active area of clinical investigation.


To summarize methods, reported seizure control outcome measures, and adverse events from blinded, randomized control trials (RCTs) for selected invasive brain stimulation (IBS) and non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) treatment options in patients with DRE.


PubMed was searched for articles from 1995-2014, using search terms related to the topics of interest. Available relevant articles reporting the outcomes of interest were identified and data was extracted. Articles in the reference lists of relevant articles and were also referenced.


Eleven articles were analyzed with a total of 795 patients identified. Studies showed that select nervous stimulation treatments significantly reduced seizure frequency in patients with DRE.


anterior nucleus thalami; deep brain stimulation; drug-resistant epilepsy; post-traumatic epilepsy; repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation; responsive cortical neurostimulation; transcranial direct current stimulation; vagus nerve stimulation

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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