Vagus Nerve Stimulation

When other treatments are not effective, some people with epilepsy can benefit from electrical stimulation of the brain, via the vagus nerve in the neck. A small electrode is wrapped around the nerve. The electrode is connected to a battery (under the skin, below the collarbone) that periodically delivers a small electrical stimulus. The device must be programmed and checked regularly by a doctor but the patient has the ability to turn the device on if they feel a seizure starting. Vagus nerve stimulation is safe, and although the success rate for total seizure control is low, it may give some persons an improved quality of life by reducing the number or severity of seizures.

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