What percentage of epilepsy patients are good candidates for vagus nerve stimulation (vns) therapy?

VNS candidates. must be at least 12 years old (in the US) and have seizures that are known to respond to VNS ( eg. focal seizures, secondarily generalized seizures ) and have failed to achieve adequate seizure control with at least two anticonvulsants (with documented therapeutic levels) or a combination of medications. Typically they are not good epilepsy surgery candidates. In my practice: about 1/3 patients.

Related Questions

What can vagus nerve stimulation therapy do for epilepsy?

Prevent seizures. Vagus nerve stimulation (vns) is designed to prevent seizures by sending regular, mild pulses of electrical energy to the brain via the vagus nerve. These pulses are supplied by a device something like a pacemaker. http://www.epilepsy.com/epilepsy/vns. Read more...
Like a medication. Vns units are valuable, and do improve seizure control over time, without medication adverse effects, but not really too much more successful than many medications (aed's). However, if more than 2 or 3 medications are not helpful, and if surgery not an option, vns may be game-changing. Read more...

How does vagus nerve stimulation therapy work exactly?

For what? It's is well known that vagal stimulus may lower the heart rate (useful in tachycardias )lowers the production of acid in the stomach( vagotomy surgery for peptic ulcers) and also can suddenly stop hiccups. Maneuvers that stimulate the vagus( could be dangerouse): massaging carotid bulb in the neck, putting pressure to the eyeballs, putting pressure to the forehead, gag reflex, valsalva. Read more...
VNS. Vagus nerve stimulation is a neuromodulation system that provides constant electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve in the neck. It is indicated for epilepsy and depression. The exact mechanism of action is unknown. Read more...
Vagal Nerve Stim. works by modulating activity of the Nucleus Solitarius in the brain stem. Pulsatile electrical impulses are delivered from a signal generator implanted under the skin to the left Vagus Nerve. The frequency and strength of the signal is adjusted to maximise seizure control, mood, attention and other parameters over time. If you want more detail feel free to ask www.healthtap.com/drericweisman. Read more...

What about vagus nerve stimulation as a treatment for chronic depression?

Lukewarm option. Vagal nerve stimulation (vns) for treatment resistant depression is fda approved (2005). However, subsequent studies have not been too supportive of its use. There are many medication options and combinations these days as well as transcranial magnetic stimulation (less invasive) and electroconvulsive therapy (still an effective treatment). Read more...