Introduction Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is a neuromodulation therapy that can reduce the seizure burden of children with medically intractable epilepsy. Despite the widespread use of VNS to treat epilepsy, there are currently no means to preoperatively identify patients who will benefit from treatment. The objective of the present study is to determine clinical and neural network-based correlates of treatment outcome to better identify candidates for VNS therapy. Methods and analysis In this multi-institutional North American study, children undergoing VNS and their caregivers will be prospectively recruited. All patients will have documentation of clinical history, physical and neurological examination and video electroencephalography as part of the standard clinical workup for VNS. Neuroimaging data including resting-state functional MRI, diffusion-tensor imaging and magnetoencephalography will be collected before surgery. MR-based measures will also be repeated 12 months after implantation. Outcomes of VNS, including seizure control and health-related quality of life of both patient and primary caregiver, will be prospectively measured up to 2 years postoperatively. All data will be collected electronically using Research Electronic Data Capture. Ethics and dissemination This study was approved by the Hospital for Sick Children Research Ethics Board (REB number 1000061744). All participants, or substitute decision-makers, will provide informed consent prior to be enrolled in the study. Institutional Research Ethics Board approval will be obtained from each additional participating site prior to inclusion. This study is funded through a Canadian Institutes of Health Research grant (PJT-159561) and an investigator-initiated funding grant from LivaNova USA (Houston, TX; FF01803B IIR).
- Developmental neurology & neurodisability
- Paediatric neurosurgery
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