External Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation for Epilepsy

2014-08-27 03:12:18 | BioPortfolio


This study investigates a new therapy for epilepsy called Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation (TNS). TNS involves external electrical stimulation of sensory nerve located above the eyes and over the forehead. The purpose of this study is to determine if TNS is safe and effective using a rigorous randomized active-control clinical trial design in 50 people with epilepsy.


Poorly controlled epilepsy is a disabling condition, affecting over one million Americans. Neurostimulation is a promising alternative for patients who have failed medical therapy, and who are not resective surgical candidates.

Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation (TNS) is a novel form of neurostimulation, and has a strong antiepileptic effect in an animal model of seizures. Preliminary data in humans indicates TNS is well tolerated and may be effective in people with intractable epilepsy.

TNS is an alternative mode of neurostimulation, because the Trigeminal Nerve can be stimulated in minimally-invasive fashion.

This is a randomized double blind study of Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation, which compares high stimulation to an active control. Subjects with poorly controlled partial onset seizures who meet all inclusion and exclusion criteria, enter a 6-week baseline period, and then are randomized in double-blind fashion to high or low intensity stimulation for 18 weeks. 50 subjects are to be enrolled at two sites.

Study outcomes are the following:

1. Percent change in seizure frequency during the treatment period compared with the baseline (pre-treatment) period.

2. Time to the 4th seizure

The primary comparisons will be between and within groups.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Active Control, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment




Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation


USC Department of Neurology
Los Angeles
United States




Olive View-UCLA Education & Research Institute

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:12:18-0400

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PubMed Articles [4917 Associated PubMed Articles listed on BioPortfolio]

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

The 5th and largest cranial nerve. The trigeminal nerve is a mixed motor and sensory nerve. The larger sensory part forms the ophthalmic, mandibular, and maxillary nerves which carry afferents sensitive to external or internal stimuli from the skin, muscles, and joints of the face and mouth and from the teeth. Most of these fibers originate from cells of the trigeminal ganglion and project to the trigeminal nucleus of the brain stem. The smaller motor part arises from the brain stem trigeminal motor nucleus and innervates the muscles of mastication.

Diseases of the trigeminal nerve or its nuclei, which are located in the pons and medulla. The nerve is composed of three divisions: ophthalmic, maxillary, and mandibular, which provide sensory innervation to structures of the face, sinuses, and portions of the cranial vault. The mandibular nerve also innervates muscles of mastication. Clinical features include loss of facial and intra-oral sensation and weakness of jaw closure. Common conditions affecting the nerve include brain stem ischemia, INFRATENTORIAL NEOPLASMS, and TRIGEMINAL NEURALGIA.

Traumatic injuries to the TRIGEMINAL NERVE. It may result in extreme pain, abnormal sensation in the areas the nerve innervates on face, jaw, gums and tongue and can cause difficulties with speech and chewing. It is sometimes associated with various dental treatments.

A syndrome characterized by recurrent episodes of excruciating pain lasting several seconds or longer in the sensory distribution of the trigeminal nerve. Pain may be initiated by stimulation of trigger points on the face, lips, or gums or by movement of facial muscles or chewing. Associated conditions include MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS, vascular anomalies, ANEURYSMS, and neoplasms. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p187)

An adjunctive treatment for PARTIAL EPILEPSY and refractory DEPRESSION that delivers electrical impulses to the brain via the VAGUS NERVE. A battery implanted under the skin supplies the energy.

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Epilepsy is defined as a disorder of brain function characterized by recurrent seizures that have a sudden onset.  (Oxford Medical Dictionary).  A seizure is caused by a sudden burst of excess electrical activity in the brain, causing a tempora...

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