Summary

Objective

Low‐frequency fiber‐tract stimulation has been shown to be effective in treating mesial temporal lobe epilepsies through activation of the hippocampal commissure in rodents and human patients. The corpus callosum is a major pathway connecting the two hemispheres of the brain; however, few experiments have documented corpus callosum stimulation. The objective is to determine the efficacy of corpus callosum stimulation at low frequencies to suppress cortical seizures.

Methods

4‐Aminopyridine was injected in the primary motor cortex of 24 rats under anesthesia. Recording electrodes were placed in the contralateral motor cortex and hippocampus. Three pairs of stimulating electrodes were inserted into the corpus callosum along its longitudinal axis. Local field potentials were recorded 1 hour before, during, and after stimulation to determine the effect of stimulation on seizure duration. Stimulation was delivered from each pair of electrodes independently in separate experiments. Furthermore, electrical stimulation was applied to the region of the corpus callosum with the highest degree of innervation of the seizure focus to compare the efficacy of different stimulation frequencies (1‐30 Hz) on seizure suppression.

Results

Corpus callosum stimulation was effective at suppressing seizures at 10 Hz by 76% (< 0.05, n = 5) and at 20 Hz by 95% (< 0.0001, n = 14). Stimulation at frequencies of 1 and 30 Hz did not have a significant effect on reducing the total time spent seizing (> 0.9999, n = 5). Furthermore, stimulation was only effective at suppressing seizures when the pair of electrodes was placed within the section of corpus callosum containing fibers innervating the seizure focus. Secondarily generalized seizures in the hippocampus were eliminated when seizures in the cortical focus were suppressed.

Significance

Low‐frequency fiber‐tract stimulation of the corpus callosum suppresses both cortical and cortically induced hippocampal seizures in an acute model of focal cortical seizures. The stimulation paradigm is selective, as it is only effective when targeted to specific regions of the corpus callosum that project maximally to cortical regions generating the seizure activity. Selective placement of stimulation electrodes along the corpus callosum could be used as a patient‐specific treatment for cortical epilepsies.

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