VNS in children : more than just seizure reduction

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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This dissertation aims to gain more insight into the effects of vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) in children with hard-to-treat epilepsy. VNS appears to be both a tolerable and safe form of treatment.
Predictors of a favourable outcome with VNS therapy were missing at the time of this study, but research has revealed that lower baseline plasma levels of interleukin-6 is associated with a greater reduction in seizure frequency with VNS. This therefore appears to be a favourable prognostic factor. The effect of VNS on epileptic seizures could be partly explained by the way VNS influences the degradation of tryptophan, a neurotransmitter involved in mood regulation, among other things. An improvement in mood was especially seen after a prolonged period of therapeutic stimulation, independent of improved seizure control. Finally, VNS was not found to have a negative effect on behaviour or cognition.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Vles, Johan, Supervisor
  • Aldenkamp, A.P., Supervisor, External person
  • Majoie, Marian, Co-Supervisor
Award date6 Feb 2015
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789461593962
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • epilepsy
  • treatment
  • VNS


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