Article short contents

Slovenska pediatrija 2012; 19: 189-194

https://doi.org/

135
- Article PDF
Review article

NON-PHARMACOLOGICAL TREATMENT OF EPILEPSY – VAGUS NERVE STIMULATION

S. Poljanšek
Klinični oddelek za otroško, mladostniško in razvojno nevrologijo, Pediatrična klinika, Univerzitetni klinični center Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenija

Abstract

Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological diseases. In epilepsy, the irregular activity of brain cells produces seizures (1). Treatment of epilepsy is urgently required since seizures more or less damage the brain. Epilepsy is treated with antiepileptic drugs and, in some cases, neurosurgically, with the ketogenic diet and with vagal nerve stimulation. If the child or adolescent’s epilepsy is refractory to drug treatment, and if surgery is not possible, treatment with vagus nerve stimulation is considered (2). The vagus nerve stimulator is a new, non-pharmacological treatment for partial epilepsy. In this method, a device, which is implanted under the skin, sends mild electrical impulses to the brain via the vagal nerve. The vagus is part of the autonomic nervous system, which controls the operation of virtually all internal organs. In contrast to drugs, this method has no signicant systemic side effects (3).

Key words: epilepsy, treatment, vagus nerve stimulation.