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Electrical Stimulation of the Claustrum for Treatment of Epilepsy

Technology #013-021-koubeissi

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Mohamad Z. Koubeissi, MD
Department of Neurology, George Washington University
Managed By
Brian Coblitz
Sr. Licensing Associate (202) 994-4345
Patent Protection

Electrical stimulation of the claustrum/piriform cortex for treatment of epilepsy

US Patent Pending 2016-0206880
Electrical stimulation of a small brain area reversibly disrupts consciousness
Epilepsy & Behavior , 2014 Aug;37:32-5.
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013-021-Koubeissi_20150911.pdf [PDF]

One third of people with epilepsy – around 1 million in the US alone – do not respond to antiepileptic medications.  Yet, existing technologies offer very limited benefits in controlling seizures in these patients with pharmaco-resistant epilepsy.

     The present invention presents a method for treating pharmaco-resistant epilepsy by deep brain electrical stimulation.  This invention uses a closed-loop system to detect seizures and apply electrical stimulation to the claustrum to inhibit loss of consciousness or alternation of awareness. Alternatively, a simpler system with constant low frequency stimulation may also be effective.

     The claustrum is a thin sheet of grey matter located deep in the brain, and is thought to play a main role in integration of conscious percepts.  A recent clinical case study by the inventor showed that the claustrum may be involved in focal epilepsy by alteration of awareness that accompanies seizures.

     The treatments are currently being tested on rats and preliminary results are very promising.


  • Treatment of Epilepsy

  • Provides therapy for patients that do not respond to drugs