PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

How does electrical stimulation work in treating refractory epilepsy?

ANSWER

Your doctor might recommend vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) to treat refractory epilepsy.

The doctor puts a device that looks like a heart pacemaker under your left collarbone. It connects to the vagus nerve in your neck through a wire that runs under your skin. The device sends a current to the nerve, which may cut down on the number of seizures you get or make them less intense.

The operation to put in the device takes 1 to 2 hours. You won't need to stay overnight in the hospital. Side effects may include cough, hoarseness, and deepening of your voice.

SOURCES:

American Academy of Neurology.

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Refractory Epilepsy."

Merck Manual Home Edition : "Seizure Disorders."

Stanford Epilepsy Center: "What Causes Epilepsy?"

University of Rochester Medical Center: "Intractable Epilepsy."

Epilepsy Foundation: "What Is a Seizure?" "Refractory Epilepsy."

Epilepsy Action: "Epilepsy Seizures Explained," "Some Common Seizure Triggers."

University of Pittsburgh: "Adult Epilepsy Surgical Options," “Deep Brain Stimulation for Movement Disorders," “Responsive Neurostimulation.”

Neuromodulation : “Deep Brain Stimulation.”

International Neuromodulation Society: “Neuromodulation: Closed-Loop Stimulation for Epilepsy.”

Mayo Clinic: “Study: Continuous electrical brain stimulation helps patients with epilepsy.”

Reviewed by Neil Lava on April 08, 2019

SOURCES:

American Academy of Neurology.

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Refractory Epilepsy."

Merck Manual Home Edition : "Seizure Disorders."

Stanford Epilepsy Center: "What Causes Epilepsy?"

University of Rochester Medical Center: "Intractable Epilepsy."

Epilepsy Foundation: "What Is a Seizure?" "Refractory Epilepsy."

Epilepsy Action: "Epilepsy Seizures Explained," "Some Common Seizure Triggers."

University of Pittsburgh: "Adult Epilepsy Surgical Options," “Deep Brain Stimulation for Movement Disorders," “Responsive Neurostimulation.”

Neuromodulation : “Deep Brain Stimulation.”

International Neuromodulation Society: “Neuromodulation: Closed-Loop Stimulation for Epilepsy.”

Mayo Clinic: “Study: Continuous electrical brain stimulation helps patients with epilepsy.”

Reviewed by Neil Lava on April 08, 2019

NEXT QUESTION:

What complementary and alternative therapies work for epilepsy?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.