Rush is First to Use Microburst Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Drug-Resistant Epilepsy
Study of treatment’s safety and effectiveness now enrolling patients
Epilepsy patients who have not responded to standard drug treatments may benefit from a new therapy that delivers high frequency bursts of electrical stimulation, called microbursts, to the brain. Rush University Medical Center in Chicago is the first health care provider in the world to provide this treatment, known as microburst vagus nerve stimulation.
The treatment is akin to a heart pacemaker. A surgeon places an electronic pulse generator under the skin in the chest and attaches it to the left vagus nerve, which runs down the side of the body from the stem of the brain through the neck and chest to the abdomen.
The device sends regular electrical pulses through the vagus nerve to the brain to prevent epileptic seizures from occurring. The stimulator’s settings can be changed according to each patient’s needs using a special programming wand, with no additional surgery needed.
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