TwitterRSSFacebookDirectors Blog
  Disorders A - Z:   A    B   C    D    E    F    G    H    I    J    K    L    M    N    O    P    Q    R    S    T    U    V    W    X    Y    Z

Skip secondary menu

Brain Infusion of Muscimol to Treat Epilepsy

See All Epilepsy Trials

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, part of the National Institutes of Health, is looking for individuals to participate in clinical studies. Participating in clinical trials allows you to play an active role in research on the nature and causes of many disorders of the brain and nervous system, and to possibly help physician-scientists develop future treatments. The information below is designed to help you quickly learn about actively recruiting research studies for which you or someone you know may be eligible.


The goals of this study are to increase understanding of intractable epilepsy (frequent seizures that persist despite therapy) and to test an experimental method that may lead to a new type of treatment for controlling seizures. The experimental method involves infusing a chemical called muscimol into the “seizure focus,” the brain area where the seizures begin, in people with intractable epilepsy. Muscimol, which is similar to a naturally occurring brain chemical called GABA, has been shown to reduce seizures in rats. After the infusion study, patients will undergo standard epilepsy surgery for controlling seizures.

This study will increase our understanding of epilepsy and may lead to a new type of treatment for medically intractable epilepsy in the future.

Eligible persons must have uncontrolled epilepsy, be 18-70 years of age, be able to have MRI scans, and are planning to have epilepsy surgery. Study participants will be screened in research study 01-N-0139 (Evaluation and Treatment of Patients with Epilepsy) to confirm that they are candidates for seizure surgery. Surgical candidates will enter the study (00-N-0158) and undergo surgical placement of a tube into the region of the brain where the seizures originate. Saline (salt water) and muscimol, the experimental medication that suppresses brain activity, will be infused through this tube and into the seizure focus. Standard surgical treatment for medically intractable epilepsy will be provided after the infusions. Neurological examinations, EEG, and MRI scans will evaluate the effects of the infusion. The study requires a 2- to 4-week inpatient stay at the NIH. Travel, epilepsy surgery, and study-related expenses will be paid by the NIH.


Phase 1

Eligibility Criteria:

Please follow this link for trial eligibility information to share with your doctor.

Study Design: 

Interventional, Purpose: Treatment

Study Locations: 

Bethesda, Maryland

For more information:

Contact: Gretchen Scott, R.N., B.S.N.; Tel: 301-496-2921 or the Patient Recruitment Office; Tel: 800-411-1222; Email:

Last Reviewed July 24, 2014