Towards a non-invasive interictal application of hypothermia for treating seizures: A feasibility and pilot study

A. Bagić, W. H. Theodore, E. A. Boudreau, R. Bonwetsch, J. Greenfield, W. Elkins, S. Sato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Objectives - To evaluate the feasibility and safety of head-neck cooling in conscious normal volunteers (10) and patients with medically refractory epilepsy (5) without causing shivering. Patients and methods - We used a non-invasive head-neck cooling system (CoolSystems Inc., Lincoln, CA, USA). The tympanic temperature (TT) and intestinal temperature (IT) were measured as two measurements of 'core temperature' (CT), and multi-site external temperatures, several physiologic variables and EEG were monitored. Seizure counts over 4-week precooling, treatment and follow-up phases were compared. Results - All 15 participants completed all the cooling sessions without significant complaints. At the end of 60 min of cooling, scalp temperature fell on average by 12.2°C (P < 0.001), TT by 1.67°C (P < 0.001), and IT by 0.12°C (P = NS). Average weekly seizure frequency decreased from 2.7 to 1.7 events per patient per week (MANOVA: P < 0.05). Conclusions - Non-invasive head-neck cooling is safe and well-tolerated. Initial pilot data in patients suggest that additional therapeutic studies are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-244
Number of pages5
JournalActa Neurologica Scandinavica
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2008



  • Brain
  • Core temperature
  • Cortical excitability
  • Epilepsy
  • Interictal cooling
  • Non-invasive hypothermia
  • Seizures
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this