Brain stimulation is a new technology-based therapy that works by stimulating the area of the brain where seizures start, which prevents the seizure from occurring.

Dr. Tariqus Salam, Dr. Roman Genov, Dr. Jose Luis Perez Velazquez and colleagues are currently conducting brain stimulation experiments in rodent models of epilepsy to identify the best methods for stopping a seizure before it begins. In their 2015 publication in Epilepsia, they found that by monitoring brain waves as they occurred, they were able to predict the start of seizures by a few seconds to a few minutes. Using this technique, they could apply stimulation to the brain to stop the seizure. This type of stimulation reduced the number of seizures by 85% to 100%, with 83% of the animals becoming seizure-free.

In more recent work, they have looked at additional ways to improve the effectiveness of brain stimulation for epilepsy. They have found that stimulation delivered at a lower frequency and at lower rates is more effective at stopping seizures. They have also improved the device hardware, including prolonging the battery life of the headset used to monitor brain activity.

Drs. Salam, Genov and Perez Velazquez in collaboration with Dr. Taufik Valiante now plan to test the safety and effectiveness of this brain stimulation technique in humans. With more research and improvements in brain stimulation, this can become a standard method of treatment for epilepsy as well as other neurological and psychiatric disorders.

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