Diagnosis: Epilepsy

In a healthy person, the activity of nerve cells in the brain is precisely matched by electrical and chemical signals. In patients who suffer from epilepsy, this balance is temporarily disturbed.

This leads to pathological, short term and attack-like discharges. Many nerve cells subsequently send signals suddenly and uncontrollably, creating a kind of “thunderstorm in the brain”. This spreads and excites individual brain areas or even the entire brain in an unnatural way. Depending on which areas are affected, the symptoms and manifestations of an epileptic seizure are different.

Therapy options for hard-to-treat epilepsy

More than 30 percent of all epileptic patients continue to experience seizures, despite taking appropriate medications for epileptic seizures (anticonvulsants). For these patients, there are currently only a few treatment options available. These include:
There are generally two neurosurgical procedures available: the removal of the area of the brain that causes the seizures, and the surgical interruption of the nerve tracts through which the seizures spread. However, this procedure is only suitable for focal epilepsies. Only a small portion of epilepsy patients are eligible for this invasive procedure.
In deep brain stimulation, electrodes are implanted in the brain. These electrodes are connected to a battery-operated stimulator, which is usually inserted underneath the patients collarbone. By means of current stimuli, the epileptic activity can be specifically influenced at its place of origin.
As part of a surgical procedure, the vagus nerve is first surgically exposed in the neck area, in order to then position an electrode that encloses it. The corresponding stimulator is implanted under the clavicle below the collarbone. The current stimuli are transmitted via the vagus nerve into the brain stem and from there activate higher centers of the brain, which may cause an anticonvulsant effect.

The NEMOS® therapy device consists of a simulation unit that generates electrical impulses and is about the size of a conventional smartphone. This is connected to a special ear electrode, which is worn like an earphone. The pulses are delivered via the ear electrode through the skin to a branch of the vagus nerve and forwarded to the brainstem. From there, as with the invasive vagus nerve stimulation, higher centers of the brain are activated, triggering an anticonvulsant effect.

Mechanism of Action: Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation (t-VNS)

In transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation, gentle electrical impulses are delivered to the skin of the outer auricle via a special ear electrode. These impulses specifically activate a nerve that runs directly under the skin in this region: the so-called ear branch of the vagus nerve. The nerve then forwards these impulses to the brain. First, into a very special region of the brainstem and from there to many different regions of the diencephalon (interbrain) and cerebrum. On the way through the brain, these stimuli cause special messenger substances (neurotransmitters) like norepinephrine or serotonin. These messenger substances can increase the nerve stimulation threshold for seizures: This means that the onset or spread of seizures can be reduced or even stopped.

5 reasons for NEMOS®

    The therapy with NEMOS® has low side effects and is therefore well tolerated.
    NEMOS® has European approval (CE) for the treatment of epilepsy.
    NEMOS® can be used in addition to existing drug therapy.
    Surgery is not necessary. This eliminates all of the risks that come with an invasive therapy method.
    The device is as small as a smartphone and very easy to use. Therefore, this therapy can easily be integrated into everyday life.

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