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Seizure. 2006 Dec;15(8):615-20. Epub 2006 Oct 17.

Effects of two different cycles of vagus nerve stimulation on interictal epileptiform discharges.

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  • 1Instituto de Neurobiología, Campus UNAM-UAQ Juriquilla, Querétaro, Qro. 76230, México.



To evaluate the effects of two cycles of vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), 30 s/5 min and 7 s/18 s on the interictal epileptiform discharges (IEDs).


Twenty patients were studied, 12 with generalized and 8 with partial seizures. An EEG of 120 channels was performed during 3 different conditions, each one lasting 30 min: basal state (BS), 30 s/5 min and 7 s/18 s VNS cycles. The number and duration of IEDs, time of IEDs in 1 min (TIEDM), IEDs/NIEDs index and the spike-free period (SFP) were determined.


In 16 patients (80%), IED decreased during 30 s/5 min cycle (Group 1) and increased in 4 (Group 2). In Group 1, during the 30 s/5 min cycle the following variables showed a decrease: TIEDM, from 12.64 s to 9.62 s (p=0.001); IED/NIED index, from 0.53 to 0.31 (p=0.021), and IED duration, from 1.57 s to 1.05 s (p=0.015); whereas SFP duration increased from 20.06 s to 37.73 s (p=0.008). The decrease in IED was 41% and the increase in SFP 88%. In the 7s/18s cycle, only SFP had an increase, 72% (p<0.043). In Group 2, an increase in IED during both cycles was found. In the 30 s/5 min cycle, TIEDM increased 56% (p=0.042) and IED/NIED index 259% (p=0.040).


VNS modifies IED in an acute form, in 80% of patients the 30 s/5 min cycle decreases the epileptiform activity and it is not modified by 7 s/18 s cycle. In 20% of patients, both cycles increase the epileptiform activity.

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