What is the efficacy of vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) for the treatment of epilepsy?

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

According to the manufacturer's registry, efficacy of the stimulating device at 18 months is 40-50%, where efficacy is defined as a seizure reduction of 50% or more. Many patients report improvement in seizure intensity and general mood. However, seizure-free rates for pharmacologically intractable focal-onset epilepsy are less than 10%.

A meta-analysis of VNS clinical studies reported an average reduction in seizures of at least 50% in approximately 50% of patients at last follow-up. Although VNS was not initially FDA approved for children or patients with generalized epilepsy, the authors also found that these groups benefitted significantly from VNS.


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!