Electric Stimulation on Human Cortex Suppresses Fast Cortical Activity and Epileptic Spikes

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To investigate underlying mechanisms and adequate parameters for electric cortical stimulation to inhibit epileptic focus in humans.


A patient with intractable partial epilepsy had subdural electrodes implanted for preoperative evaluation. Cortical functional mapping was performed by using 50-Hz alternating square pulse of 0.3-ms duration, 1 to 7 mA, within 5 s. Spike frequency and electrocorticogram (ECoG) power spectra were compared before and after the stimulation when epileptic focus and distant area were stimulated. A similar comparison also was performed in low-frequency stimulation of 0.9 Hz applied for 15 min.


Interictal spikes were reduced after electric cortical stimulation of the epileptic area at a frequency of 50 Hz as well as 0.9 Hz, with concomitant decrease in the electrographic fast activities at 50-Hz stimulation.


These data suggest that electric cortical stimulation at both high and low frequency has a suppressive effect on epileptic activities in human cortex, possibly through distinct mechanisms.

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