Device for transcutaneous detection of vagus nerve stimulation
Inventors: Alexander Rotenberg
Invention Types: Diagnostic/Prognostic, Medical Device
Research Areas: Neurology/Neuroscience
Keywords: For More Information Contact: Caron, Connie
A team from Children's Hospital, Boston and City University of New York developed a device which enables rapid safe and noninvasive detection of the ON state of the vagus nerve stimulator (VNS). Typically, the VNS device cycles between the the ON and OFF states such that during the ON period, a small amount of electrical current is delivered to the vagus nerve via two electrodes implanted beneath the skin. The potential value of such a device is to (1) inform the patient, clinician or a secondary device when the VNS is ON and (2) whether there is any unexpected electrical current leak due to an insulation breech or electrical lead break. This may be useful to quickly determine whether the VNS is functioning properly, as when a patient suspects that the device may not be working, or the device nears the end of its battery life, or after chest or neck trauma.
Approximately 40,000 patients have received VNS, and the population of patients with intractable epilepsy or with drug-resistant major depression undergoing VNS therapy is increasing. We anticipate that an inexpensive VNS detection and lead integrity device may accompany each VNS sale/implantation, and may also be marketed separately to patients with al already implanted VNS.
There is currently no device on the market to perform a quick and reliable diagnosis of the vagus nerve stimulator. Such a device could help patients or caregivers determine whether the stimulator is working or not before contacting their doctor, and could hence help eliminate unnecessary visits for VNS interrogation and associated costs.
Children's Hospital Boston would like to license or co-develop this technology with a partner.
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