Seizure medicines do not control seizures or can cause bothersome side effects in at least 3 out of 10 people with epilepsy. For some of these people, surgery may be possible to remove the area of the brain causing the seizures. For others, surgery is not an option or they may not want it at this point.

Neuromodulation is another option. This therapy involves using a device to send small electric currents to the nervous system.

  • Electrical stimulation using implanted devices began in the 1980s.
  • When used in epilepsy, a neuromodulation device sends an electrical signal to change what a nerve or the brain does. The purpose is to make the brain cells work the way they are supposed to.
  • Each device may work differently. In general, stimulating nerve cells can release substances that change how the cells act or help them go back to their normal state.

Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS Therapy®)responsive neurostimulation (RNS® Therapy), and deep brain stimulation are three approaches to neuromodulation for epilepsy.

Seizure Alert Devices

Seizure alert devices are useful in letting family members know if a seizure is occuring, especially parents of young children.

Authored By: 
Patricia O. Shafer RN, MN and Patricia M. Dean ARNP, MSN, CNRN
Authored Date: 
Reviewed By: 
Brandy Fureman PhD
Thursday, August 20, 2020