Unlike the other articles in this series on rTMS, this paper will not include clinical research or magnetic stimulation experiments. Instead, we will focus on an animal model of epilepsy called kindling and a procedure that we have recently developed to inhibit kindled seizures called quenching. Both procedures involve direct intracerebral electrical stimulation of the brain. We demonstrate that low-frequency stimulation, which does not disrupt ongoing behavior, can have profound and long-lasting effects on both seizure development and fully kindled seizures.
At this point, we do not know how well these models relate, either mechanistically or phenomenologically, to the effects of repeated transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS); however, we believe that at the very least, some of the principles emerging from studying these phenomena may be relevant to our thinking about rTMS and its potential treatment utility. Specifically, we discuss the possible relationship between quenching and rTMS with regards to parameters of induction, possible common mechanisms, and potential treatment implications.