Saturday, August 04, 2007

RNS Discussion with Dr. King-Stephens (Part 3)

Part 3 of my RNS discussion with Dr. King-Stephens:

The VNS has a number of possible side-effects, the main one being that it affects your voice. What are some possible side effects that you have already discovered during your studies?

Some patients have had mild tingling and/or pain of the scalp or face but by reducing the intensity of the stimulation or repositioning the electrodes, the symptoms disappear. So far, the side-effect profile has been excellent, i.e. few side-effects, and the patients do not have any sensation when the brain is receiving the therapy, which averages about 600 very brief pulses a day!!!

One of the things that most concerned me when deciding to get a VNS is the whole concept of being a Cyborg: Part man – part machine. The RNS seems to be more invasive and more “cyborgish”. How would you address these concerns to potential study participants?

The RNS in no way can change the personality of the person or "take over" their feelings or thoughts because it is only stimulation; less than 1% of their brain. There is no chance of becoming the "Terminal Man".

If you had epilepsy, what treatments would you try before electing to have a RNS implant?

If I had epilepsy, I would try at least 2 medications, alone or in combination, before looking at the possibility of having "curative" surgery. If I was not a candidate for curative surgery but could have the RNS, I would go for it. If not a candidate for surgery or RNS, then I would try VNS or an investigational medication.

Previous Posts (Part 1 Part 2)
More tommorow.

If you have epilepsy and are interested in finding out if you are a good match for the RNS clinical study, Call: 1-866-904-6630 or go to:

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