The effects of cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation on epileptic patients

Maryam Zoghi, Mark J Cook, Shapour Jaberzadeh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Research


The word “epilepsy” comes from a Greek word meaning “to be taken hold of” or “to be seized or gripped." Epilepsy is a complex group of syndromes characterized by episodic brain dysfunction manifesting as the occurrence of recurrent seizures. Over 65 million people live with epilepsy worldwide. Medical managements that are available for this group of patients are prescribing anti-seizure medications or surgery. Preclinical research in epileptology has been very successful in producing effective drugs for suppression of dysfunctional electrical brain activity. However, seizures are still not adequately controlled in a third of the affected individuals, and medication related side effects still impose a major burden on the quality of life of these patients. Surgery on patients with epilepsy, on the other hand aims to remove the epileptogenic regions and thus prevent the development of epileptic activity by destroying the pathological network components. Unfortunately, epilepsy surgery cannot be performed in all cases for these patients, and even for those in whom surgery is possible, after surgery, 30% to 50% of patients are not free of seizures. Therefore, there is a definite need for adjunctive or alternative therapeutic approaches in this group of patients to control the recurrence of seizure attacks. Suppression of dysfunctional electrical brain activity by transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) seems to be a potentially valuable non-invasive alternative for epilepsy treatment in this population. To date, there are a limited number of human and animal studies of this technique, using different protocols, and showing variable results. This chapter explains, how c-tDCS might be useful in controlling seizures in patients with drug-resistance epilepsy; the available evidence supporting this control and possible future directions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTranscranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS)
Subtitle of host publicationEmerging Uses, Safety and Neurobiological Effects
EditorsLionel Rogers
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherNova Science Publishers
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9781634843713
ISBN (Print)9781634843553
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

Publication series

NameNeuroscience Research Progress

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