Focal Cooling Suppresses Spontaneous Epileptiform Activity without Changing the Cortical Motor Threshold


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Summary:  Purpose: Focal cerebral cooling has been shown to reduce epileptiform activity in animals. There are, however, few reports of this phenomenon in humans.

Methods: Electrocorticography was performed before resection of a right frontal tumor in a patient with partial seizures. Cold saline was applied to the interictal spike focus, and its effect on the epileptiform discharges was observed.

Results: Application of cold saline to the spike focus resulted in a transient, complete cessation of spiking. This effect was reproduced with a second application of cold saline. The motor threshold for electrical stimulation remained unchanged during the application of saline.

Conclusions: In this patient with tumor-related epilepsy, focal cooling of the cortex reproducibly abolished interictal epileptiform discharges without changing the motor threshold to electrical stimulation.