Can a VNS be used for absence seizures?
Conclusion: VNS may be considered as a therapeutic option in patients with medically refractory absence epilepsy.
Who is a candidate for VNS?
Indications for vagus nerve stimulation include patients with medically intractable, partial epilepsy without resective surgical options or those where surgery is contraindicated for medical reasons. Contraindications include patients with history of previous left neck surgery or prior cervical vagotomy.
What causes atypical absence seizures?
While the cause of atypical seizures may be unidentifiable, they are sometimes traced to abnormalities in the brain that were present at birth (congenital) or from trauma or injury, or from complications from liver or kidney disease. This type of seizures may continue into adulthood.
Can VNS cause seizures?
Stimulation of the vagus nerve leads to the discharge of electrical energy into a wide area of the brain, disturbing the abnormal brain activity that causes seizures.
How long does VNS take to work?
VNS can take up to two years to have an effect on a patient’s seizures. If VNS proves effective, it may enable a patient to decreases dosages of AEDs over time. The goal of VNS is to reduce the number, length and severity of seizures.
What are the side effects of VNS?
Some of the side effects and health problems associated with implanted vagus nerve stimulation can include:
- Voice changes.
- Throat pain.
- Shortness of breath.
- Difficulty swallowing.
- Tingling or prickling of the skin.
How successful is VNS?
Purpose: Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) has shown to be an effective treatment for drug resistant epilepsy, with achieving more than 50% seizure reduction in one third of the treated patients.
Do absence seizures cause brain damage?
While absence seizures occur in the brain, they don’t cause brain damage. Absence seizures won’t have any effect on intelligence in most children. Some children may experience learning difficulties because of the lapses in consciousness. Others may think they’re daydreaming or not paying attention.
Are absence seizures genetic?
Absence seizures usually begin between the ages of 4 and 8 years old. The cause is usually genetic. However, most children with CAE do not have abnormal results on testing for specific epilepsy genes.
Can absence seizures turn into grand mal?
In children, absence seizures may interfere with learning and are often misinterpreted as daydreaming or inattention. About a quarter of people who have absence seizures will develop another type of generalized seizure called tonic-clonic seizures (formerly called ”grand mal” seizures).
Can you drive with absence seizures?
Some activities can be dangerous for people with absence seizures. This is because absence seizures cause a temporary loss of awareness. Driving and swimming during an absence seizure might cause an accident or drowning. Your doctor may restrict your activity until they’re certain your seizures are under control.
What happens if absence seizures go untreated?
Absence seizures are a type of epilepsy. They aren’t normally harmful, and most children grow out of them by puberty. But, you should talk to your child’s pediatrician because, untreated, they can affect your child’s life and learning.”
Can a seizure be controlled with a VNS?
Most seizures are resolved by antiseizure medications. However, some seizures that originate from one area of the brain cannot be controlled with just medications. VNS is a useful option in such instances because it affects one part of the brain.
How does stimulation of the vagus nerve cause seizures?
The vagus nerve is an important pathway to the brain in addition to helping to control seizures. Stimulation of the vagus nerve leads to the discharge of electrical energy into a wide area of the brain, disturbing the abnormal brain activity that causes seizures.
What are the side effects of VNS therapy?
If you’re using VNS therapy and need to have an MRI, make sure to inform the technicians performing the scan about your device. In certain cases, the magnetic fields from the MRI can cause the leads in your device to overheat and burn your skin.
When is the VNS device supposed to be activated?
The VNS device is usually activated at a medical appointment several weeks after the implantation procedure. Your neurologist will program the settings based on your needs using a handheld computer and a programming wand. Typically the amount of stimulation you receive will be set at a low level at first.