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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS): A new tool in epilepsy treatment

English title Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS): A new tool in epilepsy treatment
Applicant Seeck Margitta
Number 113766
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Département de Neurosciences Cliniques Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève Université de Genève
Institution of higher education University of Geneva - GE
Main discipline Neurophysiology and Brain Research
Start/End 01.01.2007 - 30.06.2010
Approved amount 260'000.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Neurophysiology and Brain Research
Neurology, Psychiatry

Keywords (4)

clinical neurophysiology; transcranial magnetic stimulation; electric neuroimaging; epilepsy

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
About 30% of patients with epilepsy suffer from frequent seizures that are pharmacoresistant and would benefit from alternative treatment strategies.
In the present project, we aim to further investigate the potential therapeutic impact of a recently proposed, non-invasive approach: the reduction of cortical excitability and increase of the threshold of epileptic seizures through repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation(rTMS) at low-frequency (1Hz) with or without a previous priming sequence.
The potential therapeutic utility of rTMS in epilepsy has been inferred from research on human motor physiology. The few clinical rTMS studies performed in epilepsy patients so far and own pilot data have provided encouraging results. However, it is still unclear which stimulation parameters, protocols and stimulated sites are most efficient in suppressing epileptic activity. To further increase our understanding of the potential therapeutic impact of rTMS in epilepsy and the optimal stimulation parameters for inducing a maximal antiepileptic effect, we plan to use TMS-compatible EEG technology that allows to identify both acute and long-term TMS effects during and after stimulation. We also aim to stimulate directly the epileptic focus. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of epileptic discharges in patients with intractable epilepsy before, during and after different protocols of rTMS will determine their effectiveness. In patients in whom a persistent effect of rTMS is observed, the procedure will be repeated over several days. Seizure charts will determine if long lasting effects occur after rTMS treatment and if yes, for how long.
Our project may help to develop rTMS as alternative treatment strategy, potentially valuable for patients with pharmacoresistant epilepsy in whom surgery is not advisable.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
163398 Transcranial electrical current stimulation as a treatment in epilepsy 01.06.2016 Project funding
104146 Unravelling the propagation patterns for interictal and ictal epileptiform activity. 01.07.2004 Project funding