Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation for the treatment of refractory epilepsy.


INTRODUCTION: Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is an established non-invasive neurostimulation technique that is able to induce neuromodulatory effects outlasting the duration of the stimulation train. The cortical excitability disturbance in epilepsy provides a rationale for investigating the efficacy of low-frequency rTMS as a treatment for epilepsy patients. Sofar clinical trials in epilepsy patients have shown conflicting results ranging from ineffective to very effective. AREAS COVERED: This manuscript provides an overview of the performed studies, retrieved from a PubMed search, and a critical appraisal of their results. A number of conclusions are drawn and potential optimization strategies are discussed. Expert commentary: Although the therapeutic efficacy of rTMS in refractory epilepsy has not yet been established, the non-invasiveness of the technique warrants further investigation of rTMS as a treatment for epilepsy.