Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)

New Treatment for Seizures

What Is Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)?

DBS is an FDA-approved seizure treatment that stimulates deep brain structures with an implanted neurostimulator device. The devices is implanted during brain surgery.

Common areas targeted by DBS include:

  • Centromedian nucleus of the thalamus (CM) stimulation is more effective for patients with generalized epilepsy than focal epilepsy. This procedure can reduce seizures by 70-80 percent in people with tonic-clonic and absence seizures, but outcomes are harder to predict in people with focal seizures or frontal lobe epilepsy.
  • Anterior nucleus of the thalamus (ANT) stimulation can control seizures that begin in the temporal lobe, and the effects are relatively long-lasting. Some people experience depression and memory impairment after ANT stimulation, however. This procedure has been approved for use in Europe but not the United States.
  • Hippocampal deep brain stimulation can reduce seizure frequency by 50-60 percent in people with temporal lobe epilepsy. People with normal MRI findings have better seizure outcomes after this type of stimulation than those with hippocampal injuries. Benefits are greatest when both, rather than one, side of the hippocampus are stimulated. Memory decline has not been reported.

Watch Now: Overview of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)

Presented by: Michael Chez, MD, Pediatric Epileptologist, Sutter Health, California

*Dr. Michael Chez is a Pediatric Epilepsy Expert and regularly treats LGS patients. This video was recorded in early 2022 at the request of the LGS Foundation to provide information to our family members about this medication. The Foundation does not endorse this or any product and is here only to provide information relevant to patient families. 

Additional Clinical Trial Information

LEARN MORE: Web MD Deep Brain Stimulation

LEARN MORE: Brain Recovery Project: The Childhood Epilepsy Surgery Foundation

The information here is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment, or medical advice and should not be considered a substitute for advice from a healthcare professional. The content provided is for informational purposes only. LGS Foundation is not responsible for actions taken based on the information included on this webpage. Please consult with a physician or other healthcare professional regarding any medical or health related diagnosis or treatment options.


Updated 8/27/22