Anterior nuclear deep brain stimulation guided by concordant hippocampal recording

Jamie J. Van Gompel, Bryan T. Klassen, Gregory A. Worrell, Kendall H. Lee, Cheolsu Shin, Cong Zhi Zhao, Desmond A. Brown, Steven J. Goerss, Bruce A. Kall, Matt Stead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Object: Anterior nuclear (AN) stimulation has been reported to reduce the frequency of seizures, in some cases dramatically; however, it has not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. The anterior nucleus is difficult to target because of its sequestered location, partially surrounded by the ventricle. It has traditionally been targeted by using transventricular or lateral transcortical routes. Here, the authors report a novel approach to targeting the anterior nucleus and neurophysiologically confirming effective stimulation of the target, namely evoked potentials in the hippocampus. Methods: Bilateral AN 3389 electrodes were placed in a novel trajectory followed by bilateral hippocampal 3391 electrodes from a posterior trajectory. Each patient was implanted bilaterally with a Medtronic Activa PC+S device under an investigational device exemption approval. Placement was confirmed with CT. AN stimulation-induced hippocampal evoked potentials were measured to functionally confirm placement in the anterior nucleus. Results: Two patients had implantations by way of a novel AN trajectory with concomitant hippocampal electrodes. There were no lead misplacements. Postoperative stimulation of the anterior nucleus with a PC+S device elicited evoked potentials in the hippocampus. Thus far, both patients have reported a > 50% improvement in seizure frequency. Conclusions: Placing AN electrodes posteriorly may provide a safer trajectory than that used for traditionally placed AN electrodes. In addition, with a novel battery that is capable of electroencephalographic recording, evoked potentials can be used to functionally assess the Papez circuit. This treatment paradigm may offer increased AN stimulation efficacy for medically intractable epilepsy by assessing functional placement more effectively and thus far has proven safe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberE9
JournalNeurosurgical focus
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2015


  • Anterior nucleus
  • Epilepsy
  • Hippocampus
  • Neuromodulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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