VNS Therapy for Epilepsy

Disease impact

When seizures are uncontrolled for long periods, numerous sequelae affect the patient. Effectively treating refractory cases is essential to avoiding many possible detrimental effects, including:

  • Cognitive and memory impairment1
  • Neurotoxic adverse effects with long-term AED therapy1
  • Higher depression rates2
  • Reduced lifetime income3
  • Increased healthcare utilization4
  • Increased mortality risk in patients with severe, intractable epilepsy5
  • Accidental injuries, some resulting in death6

Imperfect seizure control can produce disturbed psychosocial integration, which results, for example, in poor academic achievement, diminished self-esteem, dependent behavior, and a restricted lifestyle, all of which lead to an unsatisfactory, downward-spiraling quality of life. These sequelae make up the “constellation of features” associated with pharmacoresistant epilepsy.1

Kwan and Brodie, 2002

1 Meador KJ. Neurology. 2002;58(suppl 5):S21-S26.

2 Epilepsy Foundation. Epilepsy Behav. 2002;3:2-3.

3 Van Ness PC. Arch Neurol. 2002;59:732-735.

4 Griffiths RI, et al. Epilepsia. 1999;40:351-358.

5 Lhatoo SD, et al. Postgrad Med J. 1999;75:706-709.

6 Annegers JF, et al. Epilepsia. 1998;39:206-212.