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To describe the experience with Anterior Nucleus of the Thalamus-Deep Brain Stimulation (ANT-DBS) for the treatment of epilepsy at a Canadian Center.
All patients who underwent ANT-DBS implantation between 2013 (first patient implanted at our center) and 2020 were included. These patients had therapy-resistant epilepsy (TRE), were not candidates for resective surgery, and failed vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) treatment. Baseline of monthly seizure frequency was calculated within 3 months prior to VNS placement. Monthly seizure frequency was assessed at different points along the timeline: 3 months before ANT-DBS implantation as well as 3, 6, 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, and 72 months after ANT-DBS device placement. At each time point, seizure frequency was compared to baseline.
Six patients were implanted with ANT-DBS. Three (50%) patients had multifocal epilepsy, one (16.6%) had focal epilepsy, and two (33.4%) had combined generalized and focal epilepsy. Two patients with multifocal epilepsy experienced a seizure reduction >50% in the long-term follow-up. Three (50%) patients did not showed improvement: two with combined generalized and focal epilepsy and one with focal epilepsy. There were not surgical or device-related side effects. Two (33.3%) patients presented mild and transient headaches as a stimulation-related side effect.
ANT-DBS is an effective and safe treatment for focal TRE. Our experience suggests that patients with multifocal epilepsy due to regional lesion may benefit from ANT-DBS the most. Further investigations are required to determine optimal parameters of stimulation.