An overwhelming one-third of people suffering from epilepsy fails to respond to medications alone — a condition known as drug-resistant epilepsy. For those facing this diagnosis, LivaNova has developed a targeted treatment called Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) Therapy®, which uses a small, implanted device to help prevent and control seizures. And this minimally invasive procedure has already helped more than 100,000 patients around the world.

In October, LivaNova’s latest VNS Therapy System received approval from the FDA. The system contains the SenTiva™ implant, which is the first responsive epilepsy device of its size designed to both prevent seizures before they start and to stop them when they do. Additionally, the new system provides for unprecedented personalization and long-term data capture that may bring clinically meaningful insights to physicians. This milestone marks the arrival of a more compact, customizable and individualized type of therapy.

“Since every patient suffering from seizures is different, we need more treatment options,” says James Wheless, M.D., professor and chief of pediatric neurology at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.

Changing young lives

VNS Therapy is the first and only FDA-approved device proven to safely treat drug-resistant epilepsy in patients as young as 4 years old. People of all ages can be diagnosed with drug-resistant epilepsy, and in children this can lead to potential complications that impact their development and cognitive ability, which is why prompt and effective treatment is so critical.

Vivien is a young girl with drug-resistant epilepsy who had her first seizure when she was only 2 years old. When it became apparent that medications were failing to control Vivien’s seizures, Vivien’s family chose VNS Therapy. Now, Vivien is able to pay more attention in school, participate in extracurricular activities and live life on her own terms.

“She told me she didn’t think she’d ever be able to read — now she’s reading and  doing math and she’s thriving,” Vivien’s father, Mike, says. “She still has epilepsy, but we can manage the seizures and we can actually win those battles.”

“Bringing VNS therapy to children as young as age 4 in the United States is a huge opportunity to expand patient wellness and improve overall quality of life,” explains Jason Richey, LivaNova’s president of North America.