Dr. Cristina Go, a neurologist at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children and an epilepsy expert, is presenting at a Sept. 21 webinar that will provide in-depth information about vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) devices and how they can enhance quality of life for people living with seizure disorders.
The webinar, entitled Vagus Nerve Stimulation: A Long-term Solution to a Life-long Disorder, will focus on how VNS devices work and the surgery involved, and she will also discuss clinical results and potential side effects from having the implants. Her presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session.
The session is meant to engage people who have a seizure disorder and are interested in learning about what a VNS device can do for them, as well as parents and caregivers of people living with seizure disorders.
“The webinar is aimed towards people who might be interested in VNS as an option for treatment for their epilepsy, and for patients who might already have the device but have more questions,” says Go.
VNS devices can prevent or reduce the impact of seizures by sending small electrical pulses to the brain via the vagus nerve. The device is planted under the skin, near the collarbone.
“The vagal nerve stimulator is just another option that we can offer for patients who have epilepsy and nothing else has helped,” says Go.
Go says there are three main groups of people living with seizure disorders who can benefit from VNS: people who have seizures that cannot be controlled by medical management, people who are not surgical candidates and people who might benefit from being on the ketogenic diet.
The neurologist will also discuss side effects associated with VNS, and talk about what can be done when the patients are having side effects before they go to hospital.
While VNS devices have the capacity to enhance quality of life for some people living with seizure disorders, Go stresses they should not be considered a substitute for medication.
Go will also talk about safety issues surrounding VNS devices, such as air travel and even iPads.
“IPads have a strong magnet so some people are questioning if it could activate the device, and I will be talking about this in the webinar,” she says.
The webinar is being held Friday, Sept. 21 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Click here to register.
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Writer: Deron Hamel