Vagus nerve stimulation in epilepsy

Bryant J, Stein K
Record ID 31998008900
Authors' objectives:

The authors examine whether vagus nerve stimulation should be used to treat refractory epilepsy.

Authors' results and conclusions: The studies suggest that vagus nerve stimulation is a safe and effective procedure for the treatment of refractory epilepsy and seems to have a broad spectrum of effects for the different epilepsy syndromes. The data suggests that after vagus nerve stimulation a 30% reduction in seizure rate can be expected and that 30% of patients may have a 50% or greater reduction in seizure rate.
Authors' recommendations: The evidence from the literature suggests that VNS is a safe and effective method of treatment when added to the existing regimen of patients with refractory epilepsy. However, the authors do not feel able to recommend its use. They point out that although the evidence for VNS in epilepsy comes from RCTs of acceptable quality in other respects, the outcome measures are impossible to interpret in terms of quality of life. Questions also remain on the mode of action of VNS, which patients are likely to respond, QoL, cognitive function and cost benefit, and impact on carers.
Authors' methods: Review
Project Status: Completed
URL for project:
Year Published: 1998
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: England
MeSH Terms
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy
  • Vagus Nerve
  • Epilepsy
Organisation Name: Wessex Institute for Health Research and Development
Contact Address: Pauline King. Wessex Institute for Health Research and Development, Boldrewood Medical School, Bassett Crescent East, Highfield, Southampton. SO16 7PX Tel. +44 1703 595661 Fax +44 1703 595662
Copyright: Wessex Institute for Health Research and Development (WIHRD)
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