January 12, 2024

High-Powered Magnets on the Brain Help Control Seizures in Dravet Mice

Article published by Dravet Syndrome News

Treatment with a noninvasive procedure called transcranial static magnetic stimulation (tSMS) led to significantly less seizure activity in a mouse model of Dravet syndrome. “Our results show that tSMS, a non-invasive neuromodulatory technique, can reduce the number, duration, and severity of [seizures] in a mouse model of Dravet,” researchers wrote in the study. tSMS involves applying a powerful magnetic field to the skull. While it’s not known exactly how this affects brain activity, there is evidence suggesting it can reduce the overactivation of brain cells that can occur in people with Dravet syndrome causing seizures. “We believe that tSMS is emerging as an affordable, simple, safe and promising therapy for Dravet patients, alone or complementing the partial effectiveness that has been obtained with other treatments,” the researchers wrote. The researchers conducted two sets of experiments altering the amount of tSMS given, as well as a sham procedure. Results showed mice had fewer and shorter seizures while undergoing active tSMS; total time spent in seizures was reduced by about 72%. In the second set of experiments that utilized multiple rounds of tSMS, treated mice had about 86% less seizure activity. The researchers said these data could provide a useful benchmark for future work aiming to translate this approach into a treatment for people.