Information on the new SenTiva VNS Device

Information on the new SenTiva VNS Device

VNS (Vagus Nerve Stimulation) Therapy is a treatment option for people living with epilepsy which involves implanting a device similar to a pacemaker under a patient’s skin. The implant stimulates the vagus nerve, helping control seizure activity to make epilepsy more manageable by preventing seizures before they start and stopping them if they do. Benefits of VNS Therapy may include:

  • Fewer seizures
  • Shorter seizure duration
  • Improved seizure recovery
  • Decreased seizure severity
  • Improved alertness/mood/memory
  • Reduction in status epilepticus
  • Less medications
  • Fewer hospital/ER visits
  • Decreased risk of SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy)
  • Improved quality of life

According to the Toronto Star, on September 6, 2019, a five-year-old girl in Toronto became the first person in Canada to receive the newest version of the VNS Device, known as the SentTiva or Model 1000. Find out more about this here.

The SenTiva has three modes:

  • Normal Mode (Prevent)
    • Prevents seizures through therapy delivered at regular intervals, all day, every day
  • AutoStim Mode (Respond)
    • Automatically attempts to stop or shorten seizures and improve recovery through automatic delivery of therapy activated by a proven seizure biomarker
  • Magnet Mode (On-Demand)
    • Attempts to stop or shorten a seizure, improve recovery through manually activated delivery of acute therapy

The SenTiva has a number of important features, including:

  • Day and Night Programming
    • Your doctor can program your device to different settings for any two periods of time during a 24 hours period
      • This enables your doctor to customize your VNS Therapy based on your lifestyle, preference, side effect management, etc.
  • Scheduled Programming
    • Your doctor can pre-program your device to automatically change therapy settings at intervals chosen to help you reach your targeted dose
      • This reduces your need to travel to and from your doctor’s office to attend follow-up appointments
  • Detect & Respond
    • Detects a rapid rise in heart rate, often associated with a seizure and responds to this by automatically delivering an extra dose of therapy
    • Detects if a seizure is occurring when an individual is in the prone position and has a low heart rate, which often can precede SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy)
  • VNS Therapy Magnet
    • Provides you or a caregiver the ability to manually deliver an extra dose of therapy

Find out more about the SenTiva here and about VNS Therapy here. Please ask your doctor about VNS Therapy if medications have not given you acceptable seizure control or have side effects that are difficult for you to tolerate. Your doctor will decide if VNS Therapy is right for you.

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