What is the role of vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) in the treatment of epilepsy?

Updated: May 30, 2019
  • Author: David Y Ko, MD; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

VNS is a palliative technique that involves surgical implantation of a stimulating device (see Guidelines). VNS is FDA approved to treat medically refractory focal-onset epilepsy in patients older than 12 years. Some studies demonstrate its efficacy in focal-onset seizures and in a small number of patients with primary generalized epilepsy. Randomized studies showed modest efficacy at 3 months, but postmarketing experience showed delayed improvement in another group of patients.


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