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Vagus nerve stimulation for the treatment of refractory epilepsy

M.R. Gorgan, A. Giovani, F.M. Brehar
2015 Romanian Neurosurgery  
Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) represents one of the main surgical options for the treatment of the refractory epilepsy in pediatric and adult patients. There are several mechanism involved in vagal nerve stimulation which could influence the pathophysiology of seizures like neuromodulation of the thalamic and subthalamic nuclei involved in seizure initiation and the modulation of the neurotransmitters pattern norepinefrin, GABA, and serotonin. The VNS system is composed of the implanted
more » ... e implanted components (the generator, the lead with the electrodes attached) and the programming system components (programming wand and handheld computer). The authors present their experience with 81 patients diagnosed with refractory epilepsy, investigated, selected and implanted with vagal neurostimulators between December 2012 and January 2015 in Neurosurgery Clinic, "Bagdasar-Arseni" Emergency Hospital. The surgical technique and the potential pitfalls are described in detail. There were 20 children (24,7%) and 61 (75,3%) adults in this series. There was no death in this series and no intraoperative incidence. One patient presented dysphagia postoperatively which completely remitted after two months of follow-up. The outcome in term of seizure frequency and severity was better for patients under 30 years compared with patients older than 30 years. VNS represents now a safe, quick and efficient surgical procedure with a minimum period of hospitalization and a short recovery period. The good results on long term improve the quality of life of the patients and facilitate the social and professional reinsertion
doi:10.1515/romneu-2015-0021 fatcat:ihlb7a457naondavkqskvy3pta