Date of Award

Spring 5-2019

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science





Advisor/Committee Chair

Damian Shin , Ph.D.

Committee Member

Annalisa Scimemi, Ph.D.


Antiepileptic drugs have been a primary option for patients with epilepsy worldwide, however, about one-third of patients do not respond to pharmacotherapy. For these individuals, resective surgery can be performed but seizures are still reported in some cases. With that in mind, neuromodulation or deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a plausible alternative to provide seizure freedom for refractory individuals. Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), anterior thalamus DBS and responsive neurostimulation (RNS) are FDA approved as neuromodulatory approaches for epilepsy. They reduce and delay seizures but do not prevent or abolish seizures. In the previous study, the Shin lab showed that DBS of the ventral pallidum (VP) with a frequency of 50 Hz prevented partial and secondarily generalized seizures in the temporal lobe epilepsy rat model. While the data underscored a therapeutic potential for this brain area as a novel target for DBS for epilepsy, it was derived from the acute seizure-inducing paradigm. In this study, we hypothesize DBS of the VP prevents spontaneous seizures, which better aligns with human epilepsy. The study will investigate whether the adverse effects of VP-DBS are present. Overall, the study has clinical merit and impact since the quality of life may be improved with VP-DBS with fewer co-morbidity.

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Biology Commons