VNS Therapy for Epilepsy

About VNS Therapy

The VNS Therapy System is indicated for use as an adjunctive therapy in reducing the frequency of seizures in patients whose epileptic disorder is dominated by partial seizures (with or without secondary generalization) or generalized seizures that are refractory to antiepileptic medications. This indication is based on outcomes from 5 controlled, clinical trials. Efficacy, measured as median seizure reduction, was observed in these clinical trials and other study populations. VNS Therapy resulted in median reductions in seizures of 31.3%, 40.7%, and 40.4% at 1, 2, and 3 years, respectively.1 Moreover, VNS Therapy offers a unique and favorable side effect profile that avoids cerebral toxicity.2

Quality-of-life improvements have also been observed in patients using VNS Therapy. Long-term continuation rates suggest that many patients are satisfied with VNS Therapy. More specifically, some recent publications have demonstrated evidence of quality-of-life improvements observed with VNS Therapy. Alertness, daytime sleepiness, mood, and memory have shown improvement in VNS Therapy patients.

VNS Therapy delivers stimulation via a device implanted just under the skin in the left chest area. The pacemaker-like device sends mild, intermittent electrical impulses through a lead to the left vagus nerve, which then sends signals to the brain.1 Each device is programmed for the individual patient, and the patient or a caregiver has the ability to initiate or abort stimulation with the use of a hand-held magnet.

1 Physician’s Manual, VNS Therapy Pulse Model 102 Generator. Cyberonics, Inc.; June 2002.

2 Handforth A, et al. Neurology. 1998;51:48-55.

VNS Therapy