Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for BECTS


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Trial ID: NCT04325282


Benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BECTS) is the most common pediatric epilepsy syndrome. Affected children typically have a mild seizure disorder, but yet have moderate difficulties with language, learning and attention that impact quality of life more than the seizures. Separate from the seizures, these children have very frequent abnormal activity in their brain known as interictal epileptiform discharges (IEDs, or spikes), which physicians currently do not treat. These IEDs arise near the motor cortex, a region in the brain that controls movement. In this study, the investigators will use a form of non-invasive brain stimulation called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to determine the impact of IEDs on brain regions important for language to investigate: (1) if treatment of IEDs could improve language; and (2) if brain stimulation may be a treatment option for children with epilepsy. Participating children will wear electroencephalogram (EEG) caps to measure brain activity. The investigators will use TMS to stimulate the brain region where the IEDs originate to measure how this region is connected to other brain regions. Children will then receive a special form of TMS called repetitive TMS (rTMS) that briefly reduces brain excitability. The study will measure if IEDs decrease and if brain connectivity changes after rTMS is applied. The investigators hypothesize that the IEDs cause language problems by increasing connectivity between the motor cortex and language regions. The investigators further hypothesize that rTMS will reduce the frequency of IEDs and also reduce connectivity between the motor and language region

Official Title

Impact of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) on Spike Frequency and Brain Connectivity in Children With Benign Epilepsy With Centrotemporal Spike (BECTS)

Stanford Investigator(s)


Inclusion Criteria:

* A diagnosis of Benign Epilepsy with Centrotemporal Spikes (BECTS), sometimes called Rolandic Epilepsy. Diagnosis will be based on a history of a focal motor seizure (affecting the face or causing hypersalivation) or a history of a seizure out of sleep AND an EEG with unilateral or bilateral centrotemporal spike waves.
* English-speaking

Exclusion Criteria:

* History of prematurity \< 35 weeks gestational age;
* History of serious neurologic problems (i.e. history of other seizure disorder other than simple febrile seizure, head trauma with prolonged loss of consciousness, cerebrovascular accident or neuro-inflammatory disease)
* Focal deficits on neurologic exam
* History of abnormal MRI (with clear gray or white matter abnormality)


device: Active rTMS

device: Sham rTMS


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Contact Information

Stanford University
School of Medicine
300 Pasteur Drive
Stanford, CA 94305
Fiona M Baumer, MD