Vagus Nerve Stimulation Therapy for Treatment of Drug-Resistant Epilepsy and Depression

Shoaib Shafique, Michael C. Dalsing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Vagal nerve stimulation therapy is a new adjunctive treatment for drug-resistant epilepsy and depression. It consists of a pulse generator that transmits impulses to the left vagus nerve via an implantable electrode and can be performed by surgeons familiar with the anatomy of the cervical vagus nerve. The minimum age for vagal nerve stimulation therapy for epilepsy is 12 years, and for depression, 18 years. Hoarseness and cough are the most common side effects. Response rates to vagal nerve stimulation therapy vary and depend on several other factors. If used as adjunctive therapy, vagal nerve stimulation has shown better control of seizures or depression at smaller doses of antiepileptic or antidepressive medications and also results in decreased dose-dependent side effects. Vagal nerve stimulation therapy appears safe as an adjunctive treatment for drug-resistant epilepsy and depression. Long-term data are needed to better define its ultimate role in various subsets of patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-327
Number of pages5
JournalPerspectives in vascular surgery and endovascular therapy
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2006

Keywords

  • drug-resistant epilepsy
  • treatment-resistant depression
  • vagus nerve stimulation therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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