Refractory Epilepsy Treatment Devices: a Review


  • Natalia Garay Badenian SABI
  • Franco Simini Núcleo de Ingeniería Biomédica de las facultades de Medicina e Ingeniería, Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Humberto Prinzo Cátedra de Neurocirugía de la Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay


Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological diseases. 30% of patients with epilepsy are refractory to medication. In these patients, different therapeutic methods are addressed, such as ketogenic diet, medicinal cannabis, surgery, neuromodulator implants (vagal nerve stimulation and deep brain stimulation), and transcranial magnetic stimulation. This paper reviews the existing devices for the treatment of refractory epilepsy, comparing its effectiveness, adverse effects and stimulation parameters. 18 articles were analyzed which indicate an average effectiveness of 55% for vagal nerve stimulation, 70% for deep brain stimulation and 27% for transcranial magnetic stimulation. The most effective devices were also the ones with higher risk of adverse effects, which is why further research is of the utmost importance in order to develop non invasive devices for refractory epilepsy patients.

Keywords— refractory epilepsy, vagal nerve stimulation, deep brain stimulation, transcranial magnetic stimulation






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