Exciting Discovery in Epilepsy Research!

Hippocampal on-demand low-frequency stimulation for the prevention of epileptiform high-load clusters: Setup design for on-demand stimulation. In brief, 10 min low-frequency stimulation (LFS) at 1 Hz was initiated if 13 LFP spikes occurred within 10 s.

Brain paper published. On-demand low-frequency stimulation for seizure control: efficacy and behavioural implications.

We are thrilled to announce the publication from our BrainLinks-BrainTools members Carola Haas (Exp. Epilepsy Research, Dept. of Neurosurgery, Medical Center – University of Freiburg) and Ulrich Egert (Biomicrotechnology, Dept. of Microsystems Engineering, Faculty of Engineering Uni Freiburg). In their paper they introduce a study that offers new hope for individuals with drug-resistant mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE), the most common form of focal epilepsy in adults. Traditional medication often proves ineffective for MTLE, leaving patients with limited options. However, Haas, Egert, and their teams were able to show that low-frequency deep brain stimulation (LFS) is a very efficient alternative treatment option.

Current clinical practice relies on stimulation at high frequencies to interrupt seizures, but this method has its drawbacks, including false detections, delayed intervention, and limited success in sclerotic tissue. To overcome these negative effects the low-frequency stimulation (LFS), was recently introduced. In preclinical epilepsy models using the intrahippocampal kainate mouse model, continuous hippocampal LFS has proven effective in preventing seizures.

To enhance this approach, researchers developed an on-demand LFS protocol, significantly reducing the stimulation load. Importantly, they assessed the impact on behavior, revealing that epileptic mice displayed increased anxiety and impaired memory but benefited from hippocampal LFS applied before behavioral tests, alleviating cognitive deficits and improving long-term memory recall.

These findings present a promising alternative to current therapies, inspiring further exploration of LFS for seizure control in focal epilepsy syndromes.


Original paper:

Enya Paschen, Piret Kleis, Diego M Vieira, Katharina Heining, Christian Boehler, Ulrich Egert, Ute Häussler, Carola A Haas, On-demand low-frequency stimulation for seizure control: efficacy and behavioural implications, Brain, 2023; awad299, https://doi.org/10.1093/brain/awad299

Contact author:

Prof. Dr. Carola Haas, Exp. Epilepsy Research, Department of Neurosurgery, Medical Center – University of Freiburg, Breisacher Straße 64, 79106 Freiburg, carola.haas(at)uniklinik-freiburg.de