Vagal nerve stimulation in children

Author(s): Crumrine PK


Vagal nerve stimulation is a new therapeutic option for patients with medically refractory epilepsy. The FDA approved the NeuroCybernetic Prosthesis (NCP) in July 1997 for use in adults and adolescents over the age of 12 years with medically refractory epilepsy. Most of the patients in the initial pilot studies and subsequent extended longitudinal and randomized controlled studies were adults. There were small numbers of children who received the NCP system. However, these were not part of controlled studies. As the system has had greater exposure in the United States and Europe, there are more children who are receiving vagal nerve stimulation (VNS). Initial data from open-label, uncontrolled studies suggest that VNS does have some efficacy and safety for those children with refractory epilepsy who have not responded to appropriate trials of antiepileptic drugs. The questions to be asked and answered are as follows: (1) When is a child medically refractory? (2) What are the criteria for selection for VNS? (3) Which seizure types or syndromes will benefit most from the treatment? and (4) What are the most effective and safe stimulation parameters, and do these vary depending on the seizure type?

Similar Articles

Left vagal nerve stimulation in children with refractory epilepsy

Author(s): Murphy JV, Hornig G, Schallert G

Therapeutic devices for epilepsy

Author(s): Fisher RS

Right-sided vagus nerve stimulation as a treatment for refractory epilepsy in humans

Author(s): McGregor A, Wheless J, Baumgartner J, Bettis D