Neurostimulation is a type of therapy that uses a small device placed under the skin to deliver electrical pulses through the nerves to interrupt seizure activity. This device works to regulate electrical activity in the brain, much like a pacemaker does for the heart.
Neurostimulation is a safe and proven method for controlling seizures, especially for children whose seizures do not respond well to medications . The treatment is not painful and often the person does not even notice when the stimulus is delivered.
Vagus Nerve Stimulation
A vagus nerve stimulator (VNS) is an implanted (under the skin) device with a wire attached to the vagus nerve in the neck. The vagus nerve is one of the main communication pathways between the body and the brain.
The device is set to send a stimulus (current) up the vagus nerve to the brain to interrupt seizure activity. The device is programmed externally and a magnet can be used to send a stimulus during a seizure to stop it.
Studies show that the majority of people report at least a 50 percent decreases in seizure occurrence with the VNS. The VNS is FDA approved for partial seizures, but has also been found to be effective for people with generalized seizures.
While VNS therapy is not normally used to treat depression in children, parents often report an improvement in their child’s mood with this therapy.