Thursday, September 19, 2019
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Seizure Disorders

Vagal Nerve Stimulator (VNS) Therapy System

At Michigan Neurology Institute, fellowship-trained epileptologists work closely with patients to manage their seizure disorders. They are well versed in the use of Vagal Nerve Stimulator (VNS) Therapy System (Cyberonics). The VNS Therapy System, now used by more than 40,000 patients worldwide, represents a breakthrough in the treatment of seizure disorders that cannot be controlled with medication alone.

vnsHow it works

The epileptologist evaluates which patients are most appropriate for this treatment. The VNS Therapy System is implemented along with standard anticonvulsant medications to help improve seizure control. This unique device works like a cardiac pacemaker to help control electrical signals within the brain and help control seizures. It is implanted just under the skin in the upper chest. Two thin, flexible wires are attached to the left vagus nerve in the neck. The generator sends small electrical pulses to the vagus nerve, which then delivers the pulses to the brain. The epileptologist can change the periodic stimulation at any time, with the programming wand and computer. This gentle stimulation helps to prevent the electrical irregularities within the brain that cause seizures. Some of the benefits that VNS Therapy may provide include:

  • Reduction in seizure frequency
  • Less severe seizures and/or shorter seizures
  • Improved recovery periods after seizures
  • Fewer seizure clusters
  • Fewer visits to the emergency room

Using the VNS Therapy™ Magnet

In addition to the stimulation you receive automatically from VNS Therapy, the VNS Therapy magnet lets you start an extra dose of stimulation yourself.

You or a loved one can administer an additional dose of stimulation at any time that may enable you or another person to:

  • Stop your seizure
  • Shorten your seizure
  • Decrease the severity of your seizure