Missed our latest free live-stream? Catch up now with Intracranial Enhancement by Frank Gaillard

Deep brain stimulation for epilepsy

Case contributed by Dr Mohammad A. ElBeialy


Drowsy and unresponsive.

Patient Data

Age: 45 years
Gender: Male

Cardiomegaly. A surgically implanted, battery-operated medical device named a neurostimulator - similar to a cardiac pacemaker is noted, but the electrodes are directed towards the head.

Two electric rods for deep brain stimulation are seen embedded within the anteromedial thalami. The brain otherwise looks unremarkable.

Case Discussion

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) in a patient with intractable seizures that are not controlled by medications. 

The neurostimulator sends impulses through electrodes to the anterior medial thalamic nuclei which are involved in the spread of seizures. DBS blocks unwanted electrical signals from targeted areas in the brain.

DBS is usually used concurrently with antiepileptic medications and not instead of them. If the DBS works for the patient, it might reduce the patient's need for antiepileptic medications over time.

At the time of this publication, the DBS efficacy and safety is under research and there is no NHS funding for DBS in UK.

PlayAdd to Share

Case information

rID: 54345
Published: 4th Jul 2017
Last edited: 13th Aug 2020
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.