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The Neuropsychological Efficacy of Vagus Nerve Stimulation in 56 Children with Catastrophic Epilepsy

Author(s): Xiongfei Wang, Qing Gao, Jian Zhou, Yuguang Guan, Changqing Liu, Weiwei Pan, Qian Wang, Guoming Luan, Tianfu Li


For children with catastrophic epilepsy, vagus nerve stimulation has been demonstrated as a palliative treatment for those with surgical contraindication. The purpose of our study was to assess the efficacy on seizures, to assess the neuropsychological efficacy of vagus nerve stimulation in children.


Our study reviewed files of 56 children treated with vagus nerve stimulation between May, 2008 and December, 2013 in our center. Data was collected from baseline to 12, 24 months of follow-up, including seizure frequency, seizure duration, seizure severity and neuropsychological outcomes.


In the population of these 56 children, vagus nerve stimulation significantly reduced seizure frequency, duration and severity. The response rates (reduction >50%) were 46.4%, 57.2% at 12 months, 24 months. Furthermore, VNS also significantly achieved improvement of neuropsychological outcomes, particularly the language function of the children under 6 years.


The children with catastrophic epilepsy, especially those under 6 years, could benefit from vagus nerve stimulation by reducing seizure burden and improving neuropsychological development.

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