Vagus nerve stimulation for intractable epilepsy: outcome in two series combining 90 patients.
Department of Neurosurgery, University of Athens, Evangelismos General Hospital, Athens, Greece.Acta neurochirurgica. Supplement 02/2007; 97(Pt 2):287-91. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-211-33081-4_32
Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is the most widely used non-pharmacological treatment for medically intractable epilepsy and has been in clinical use for over a decade. It is indicated in patients who are refractory to medical treatment or who experience intolerable side effects, and who are not candidates for resective surgery. VNS used in the acute setting can both abort seizures and have an acute prophylactic effect. This effect increases over time in chronic treatment to a maximum at around 18 months. The evidence base supporting the efficacy of VNS is strong, but its exact mechanism of action remains unknown. A vagus nerve stimulator consists of two electrodes embedded in a silastic helix that is wrapped around the cervical vagus nerve. The stimulator is always implanted on the left vagus nerve in order to reduce the likelihood of adverse cardiac effects. The electrodes are connected to an implantable pulse generator (IPG) which is positioned subcutaneously either below the clavicle or in the axilla. The IPG is programmed by computer via a wand placed on the skin over it. In addition, extra pulses of stimulation triggered by a hand-held magnet may help to prevent or abort seizures. VNS is essentially a palliative treatment and the number of patients who become seizure free is very small. A significant reduction in the frequency and severity of seizures can be expected in about one third of patients and efficacy tends to improve with time. Vagus nerve stimulation is well tolerated and has few significant side effects. We describe our experience on the use of VNS on drug-resistant epilepsy in 90 patients treated in two departments (in Athens, Greece and Newcastle, England).
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ABSTRACT: We performed a retrospective, multicenter, open-label study to evaluate the efficacy of vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) in all patients in the Czech Republic who have received this treatment for at least 5 years (n=90). The mean last follow-up was 6.6+/-1.1 years (79+/-13 months). The median number of seizures among all patients decreased from 41.2 seizures/month in the prestimulation period to 14.9 seizures/month at 5 years follow-up visit. The mean percentage of seizure reduction was 55.9%. The responder rate in these patients is in concordance with the decrease of overall seizure frequency. At 1 year after beginning the stimulation, 44.4% of patients were responders; this percentage increased to 58.7% after 2 years. At the 5 years last follow-up 64.4% of patients were responders, 15.5% experienced > or = 90% seizure reduction, and 5.5% were seizure-free. A separate analysis of patients younger than 16 years of age showed lower efficacy rates of VNS in comparison to the whole group. Complications and chronic adverse effects occurred in 13.3% of patients. VNS is an effective and safe method to refractory epilepsy in common clinical practice.Seizure 12/2008; 18(4):269-74. DOI:10.1016/j.seizure.2008.10.012 · 1.82 Impact Factor
Article: Neuromodulation in Epilepsy[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Neuromodulation strategies have been proposed to treat a variety of neurological disorders, including medication-resistant epilepsy. Electrical stimulation of both central and peripheral nervous systems has emerged as a possible alternative for patients who are not deemed to be good candidates for resective procedures. In addition to well-established treatments such as vagus nerve stimulation, epilepsy centers around the world are investigating the safety and efficacy of neurostimulation at different brain targets, including the hippocampus, thalamus, and subthalamic nucleus. Also promising are the preliminary results of responsive neuromodulation studies, which involve the delivery of stimulation to the brain in response to detected epileptiform or preepileptiform activity. In addition to electrical stimulation, novel therapeutic methods that may open new horizons in the management of epilepsy include transcranial magnetic stimulation, focal drug delivery, cellular transplantation, and gene therapy. We review the current strategies and future applications of neuromodulation in epilepsy.Neurosurgery 06/2011; 69(4):957-79; discussion 979. DOI:10.1227/NEU.0b013e31822b30cd · 3.62 Impact Factor
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