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Imad Najm, MD: Deep Brain Stimulation and Epilepsy

The director of the epilepsy center at Cleveland Clinic spoke about the process that leads to the selection of candidacy for deep brain stimulation.

“So now the big question is, who would be a good candidate for the placement of deep brain stimulation electrodes?”

Despite epilepsy surgery and other neuromodulation devices, many patients suffering from drug-resistant epilepsy continue to persist with seizures. With the May approval of Medtronic’s deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy as an adjunctive treatment for patients with focal epilepsy who fail multiple antiepileptic medications, more options and choices are now available, however, clinicians are now asking who a good candidate for its use would be.

To provide additional insight into the process that leads to the selection of candidacy for DBS, NeurologyLive sat with Imad Najm, MD, Director of the Epilepsy Center, Cleveland Clinic, at the American Epilepsy Society’s annual meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Najm explains that the criteria for candidates of DBS includes patients who have failed multiple antiepileptic medications, underwent presurgical evaluation, and are not deemed to be candidates of other types of epilepsy surgery. Clinicians expect to see a decrease in seizure frequency, and perhaps for a small number of these patients to be seizure free.