Cyberonics was founded in Houston, TX in 1987 to develop an implantable device for the treatment of epilepsy. In July 1997, The FDA approved the VNS Therapy System (formerly known as the NCP® NeuroCybernetic Prosthesis System) as an adjunctive epilepsy treatment for adults and children over 12 years of age with partial onset seizures refractory to drugs.
Cyberonics currently markets the VNS Pulse and VNS Demipulse IPGs, which offer approximately 6 years of longevity at nominal stimulation settings (2 mA, 20 Hz, 500 msec, 10% duty cycle into a 4 kOhm load).
The VNS IPG is implanted subcutaneously in the left chest area, while a lead is tunneled and cuffed to the left vagus nerve, which then sends signals to the brain.
Each device is programmed for the individual patient, and the patient or a caregiver has the ability to initiate or abort stimulation with the use of a hand-held magnet.
A user-friendly computer, connected with the programming wand, is used to interrogate the VNS IPG and modify stored stimulation parameters. The VNS Therapy Programming Software, in conjunction with the VNS Therapy Computer and the Programming Wand, can store and retrieve telemetry data and revise programmable parameters in the Pulse Generator.
Company website: www.cyberonics.com
Click here for Cyberonics’ patents.
Click here for paper “Technology Insight: neuroengineering and epilepsy—designing devices for seizure control”, by William C Stacey and Brian Litt, Nature Clinical Practice Neurology (2008) 4, 190-201