1701 – Deep brain stimulation of the thalamus for the treatment of severe refractory epilepsy

Page last updated: 18 July 2023

Application Detail

Description of Medical Service

Deep brain stimulation delivers electrical impulses to a key central location deep in the brain, suppressing the bursts of epileptic discharges that characterise seizures. Under general anaesthetic, a neurosurgeon places electrode leads into the thalamus of the brain through small holes in the skull. The leads are connected to wires running under the skin behind the ear and down the side of the neck, and are attached to a battery powered neurostimulator device implanted in the upper chest. After implantation, the frequency and amplitude of the delivered electrical stimuli are adjusted to maximally suppress the frequency and severity of seizures.

Description of Medical Condition

Epileptic seizures are characterised by abnormal brain activity, causing sudden and unpredictable changes in behaviour and awareness. The brain area affected, and duration of the seizure determine the seizure manifestations. There are many different underlying causes, including congenital brain abnormalities, acquired lesions and genetic changes.

Reason for Application

Amendment to MBS item

Medical Service Type

Therapeutic technology

Previous Application Number/s

Not Applicable

Associated Documentation

Application Form

Application Form (PDF 1735 KB)
Application Form (Word 419 KB)

Consultation Survey

Consultation Survey (PDF 688 KB)
Consultation Survey (Word 72 KB)

PASC Consultation
Consultation closed

MSAC Consultation
MSAC consultation closed Friday, 10 February 2023.

For further information please refer to PASC, ESC, MSAC Key Dates
For further information on the consultation process please refer to MSAC Consultation Process

PICO Confirmation

PICO Confirmation (PDF 661 KB)
PICO Confirmation (Word 336 KB)

Assessment Report


Public Summary Document

Public Summary Document (PDF 627 KB)
Public Summary Document (Word 150 KB)

Meetings for this Application


13-14 April 2022


9-10 February 2023


30-31 March 2023