Effects of vagus nerve stimulation on progressive myoclonus epilepsy of Unverricht-Lundborg type

Epilepsia. 2000 Aug;41(8):1046-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1157.2000.tb00293.x.


Purpose: A 34-year-old woman with progressive myoclonus epilepsy of Unverricht-Lundborg type was considered for vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) therapy.

Methods: After demonstration of intractability to multiple antiepileptic regimens and progressive deterioration in cerebellar function, the patient was implanted with a vagus nerve stimulator and followed for 1 year. Neurological status, seizure frequency, and parameter changes were analyzed.

Results: VNS therapy resulted in reduction of seizures (more than 90%) and a significant improvement in cerebellar function demonstrated on neurological examination. The patient reported improved quality of life based in part on her ability to perform activities of daily living.

Conclusions: VNS therapy may be considered a treatment option for progressive myoclonus epilepsy. The effects of VNS on seizure control and cerebellar dysfunction may provide clues to the underlying mechanism(s) of action.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Cerebellum / physiopathology
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Unverricht-Lundborg Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Unverricht-Lundborg Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Unverricht-Lundborg Syndrome / therapy*
  • Vagus Nerve / physiology*


  • Anticonvulsants