Reducing antiepileptics in VNS (TM) patients does not impair seizure control

Denver, CO April 18, 2002 (Nasdaq: CYBX) Reducing the number of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) used in combination with VNS (Vagus Nerve Stimulation) Therapy does not cause a rebound increase in seizure rates, according to a study presented at a poster session today at the 54th annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) in Denver.

To successfully manage epilepsy, we try to maximize seizure control, while minimizing side effects, says study investigator Douglas Labar, M.D., director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at New York Presbyterian Hospital - Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York. Although most patients who use VNS Therapy also require medication, this study demonstrates that the number of AEDs patients take can likely be reduced without jeopardizing that balance."

This retrospective study analyzed the types and number of medications VNS Therapy patients were using when first beginning treatment and then again one year later (n=1407). The patients were split into two primary groups: those whose medications were reduced or remained unchanged after one year (n=896) and those whose medications were increased or switched during that period (n=511). There were no significant differences in seizure rate changes between the groups. The study also examined how the addition of specific medications affected seizure rate reductions and found that decreases in seizure frequency were relatively parallel across several medications.

About Epilepsy
Epilepsy is the third most common neurological disorder in the United States, affecting nearly 2.3 million people, or one percent of the population, reports the Epilepsy Foundation. Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder characterized by two or more, unprovoked recurrent seizures, electrical storms in the brain caused by faster-than-normal activity and transport of messages by the brains nerve cells. Such storms, in turn, affect the bodys functions.

Contact: Meaghan Atkinson
Porter Novelli

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