Vagal Nerve Stimulator And Epilepsy

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Vagal Nerve Stimulator And Epilepsy

Did you know that over 3.4 million people live with epilepsy in the United States alone? When looking at the condition from a global perspective, that number jumps up to 65 million people. At Three Village Neurology, a Neurologist on Long Island we understand the difficulties this condition can bring. We also realize that for some of our patients, medication may not be enough to manage the condition. If you are one of these patients, our neurologist on Long Island, Dr. James Bruno, may recommend vagus nerve stimulation as an alternative method.

 

What Is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a condition that affects the central nervous system and causes seizures to occur. These seizures are a result of abnormal brain activity and can affect any processes the brain normally coordinates. Common symptoms of seizures tend to include the following:

 

  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Uncontrolled jerking of your arms and legs.
  • Temporary confusion.
  • Feelings of anxiety or deja vu.

 

Methods Of Treatment:

For many people, anti-seizure medication is enough to manage epilepsy. However, almost one-third of people find that these medications do not bring the desired effects. For those people, vagal nerve stimulation can be a viable alternative. This is an FDA approved method for managing both epilepsy and depression that may be recommended to you by our neurologist on Long Island.

 

Vagal Nerve Stimulator:

To administer this form of treatment, one would normally need to have a vagal nerve stimulator surgically implanted under the skin of one’s chest. This device would run a wire that connected to your left vagus brain nerve. Recently, a noninvasive vagal stimulator has been developed. However, as of now, it has only been approved in Europe to treat epilepsy. The FDA has approved a version of this device to treat cluster headaches, so this non-surgical option is moving in the right direction. 

 

What Happens During Vagal Nerve Stimulation?

During this form of treatment, mild electrical pulses are sent from the vagus nerve stimulator to stimulate the vagus nerve. The stimulation of the nerve in this manner has been proven to help regulate the frequency of seizures occurring. Though it won’t cure epilepsy, those who have used vagal nerve stimulation have had seizures diminish by 20 to 50 percent.

 

Three Village Neurology – An Expert Neurologist on Long Island:

At Three Village Neurology, we sympathize with all of our patients who need to go through life with epilepsy. When traditional medication does not get the job done, our neurologist on Long Island will work with you to determine a proper course of action moving forward. If you’d like to learn more about how a vagal nerve stimulator can help you, be sure to contact us today!