VNS involves the surgical implantation of a stimulator device – similar to implanting a pace-maker.
VNS is generally one of the later options considered – being an invasive and potentially expensive procedure, it is difficult to predict which people may or may not benefit and have a reduction in seizure frequency and severity. Also, the persons response to the VNS is not immediate and it can take months to show its full effectiveness. Studies have shown that about 30-50% of children gain a significant improvement in seizure control, with reduced seizure frequency or severity, and less than 10% of children become seizure free.
Many children have improvements in mood, alertness and overall quality of life, even if seizures aren’t significantly improved. VNS has not shown any effect on cognition, however has shown positive effects on behaviour.
If you would like further information please contact Epilepsy Action Australia.