Chronic bilateral stimulation of the anterior thalamus of kainate-treated rats increases seizure frequency

Fred A. Lado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Purpose: Electrical stimulation of the anterior nucleus of the thalamus (ANT) is receiving increased attention as a novel means of controlling intractable epilepsy, and has entered human clinical trial. Animal data supporting the anticonvulsant benefit of ANT stimulation, however, has been obtained from acute chemoconvulsant models of epilepsy rather than models of chronic epilepsy with spontaneous seizures. It is unknown whether ANT stimulation is effective in models of chronic epilepsy. Methods: Bilateral ANT stimulation was evaluated in rats with chronic epilepsy following acute status epilepticus (SE) produced by systemic kainic acid (KA) administration. The evolution of epilepsy following KA SE and the effects of ANT stimulation were monitored by continuous video-EEG. Results: Following KA SE, most rats have 2-8 seizures per day, and the average seizure rate increases over time, doubling over the course of 14 weeks. Behavioral seizure severity, after the initial development of epilepsy, remains stable. Seizure frequency during ANT stimulation was 2.5 times the baseline seizure frequency. In some cases stimulation triggered seizures were observed. The effects of stimulation were specific to the ANT. Stimulation applied to electrodes placed outside the ANT did not significantly worsen seizure frequency. Conclusions: ANT stimulation exacerbated seizure frequency in rats with chronic epilepsy following kainate status epilepticus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-32
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • Anterior nucleus of the thalamus
  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Epilepsy
  • Kainate
  • Kainic acid
  • Prolonged stimulation
  • Rat
  • Seizures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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