PURPOSE: This pilot study prospectively evaluated the efficacy of long-term deep brain stimulation (DBS) in medial temporal lobe (MTL) structures in patients with MTL epilepsy. METHODS: Twelve consecutive patients with refractory MTL epilepsy were included in this study. The protocol included invasive video-EEG monitoring for ictal-onset localization and evaluation for subsequent stimulation of the ictal-onset zone. Side effects and changes in seizure frequency were carefully monitored. RESULTS: Ten of 12 patients underwent long-term MTL DBS. Two of 12 patients underwent selective amygdalohippocampectomy. After mean follow-up of 31 months (range, 12-52 months), one of 10 stimulated patients are seizure free (>1 year), one of 10 patients had a >90% reduction in seizure frequency; five of 10 patients had a seizure-frequency reduction of > or =50%; two of 10 patients had a seizure-frequency reduction of 30-49%; and one of 10 patients was a nonresponder. None of the patients reported side effects. In one patient, MRI showed asymptomatic intracranial hemorrhages along the trajectory of the DBS electrodes. None of the patients showed changes in clinical neurological testing. Patients who underwent selective amygdalohippocampectomy are seizure-free (>1 year), AEDs are unchanged, and no side effects have occurred. CONCLUSIONS: This open pilot study demonstrates the potential efficacy of long-term DBS in MTL structures that should now be further confirmed by multicenter randomized controlled trials.
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