Pilot study of focused ultrasound for drug-resistant epilepsy

Cheng Chia Lee, Chien Chen Chou, Fu Jung Hsiao, Yi Hsiu Chen, Chun Fu Lin, Ching Jen Chen, Syu Jyun Peng, Hao Li Liu, Hsiang Yu Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The neuromodulatory effects of focused ultrasound (FUS) have been demonstrated in animal epilepsy models; however, the safety and efficacy of FUS in humans with epilepsy have not been well established. Patients with drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE) undergoing stereo-electroencephalography (SEEG) provide an opportunity to investigate the neuromodulatory effects of FUS in humans. Methods: Patients with DRE undergoing SEEG for localization of the seizure onset zone (SOZ) were prospectively enrolled. FUS was delivered to the SOZ using a neuronavigation-guided FUS system (ceiling spatial-peak temporal-average intensity level = 2.8 W/cm2, duty cycle = 30%, modulating duration = 10 min). Simultaneous SEEG recordings were obtained during sonication and for 3 days after treatment. Seizures, interictal epileptiform discharges, and adverse events after FUS were monitored. Results: Six patients met the eligibility criteria and completed FUS treatment. A decrease in seizure frequency was observed in two patients within the 3-day follow-up; however, one patient presented an increase in the frequency of subclinical seizures. Posttreatment magnetic resonance imaging revealed neither lesion nor brain edema. Significant changes in spectral power of SEEG were noted at the targeted electrodes during FUS treatment. One patient reported subjective scalp heating during FUS, and one patient developed transient naming and memory impairment that resolved within 3 weeks after FUS. Significance: FUS can be safely delivered to the SOZ of patients with DRE, resulting in significant changes in spectral power of SEEG. A larger sample cohort and pursuing optimal sonication parameters will be required to elucidate the neuromodulatory effects of FUS when used for seizure control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-175
Number of pages14
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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