A retrospective analysis of the effects of magnet-activated stimulation in conjunction with vagus nerve stimulation therapy.
Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) therapy offers two methods to help control seizures, automatic stimulation delivered at programmed intervals and on-demand stimulation initiated with a magnet. This study retrospectively analyzes magnet use during the E03 and E04 clinical trials of VNS therapy. Magnet activation that aborted, decreased, terminated, or diminished a seizure was classified as an improvement; for purposes of evaluation, the patient was considered to have received a benefit. When patients in the E03 trial used magnets to activate stimulation, patients with active magnets were more likely to report seizure improvement than patients with inactive magnets (P=0.0479, Fisher's test). In the E04 trial, 22% of patients using the magnet reported seizure termination and 31% reported seizure diminution. Unrelated to seizure reduction with programmed VNS therapy, approximately half of the patients who used the magnet in this study received some benefit. Additional studies can provide a better understanding of this unique mode of delivering antiseizure therapy.
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