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Vagus Nerve Schwannoma: effects on internal organs?

Thomas D. Wason wason at nando.net
Thu Jan 25 09:39:19 EST 1996

>> > A friend of mine had a vagus nerve schwannoma removed about 6 months ago;
>> > the nerve was completley transected and she has a paralyzed vocal cord.
>> > 
>> > She wonders about long term effects on her internal organs and endocrine
>> > functions.  She has various symptoms including decreased appetite,
>> > increased appetite, pain on salivating, swallowing problems of course, and
>> > also mood swings.  Does anyone know anything about this, or know of people
>> > or references I can point to her to?
>> > 
>> > If you could reply be email I'd appreciate it, and if I get enough info
>> > I'll post it in this group and on the Web.
>> > 
>> > Jerry
>> > jlarson at hsc.usc.edu
>> > http://www.hsc.edu/hsc/neuroprotection/

Moving in the other direction...  I have a student with rather bad grande mal epilepsy.  It 
was managed pretty well medically until he reached puberty, when the hormones kicked in.  He 
is about to undergo a procedure to have an electrode implanted which will stimulate the vagus 
nerve.  This is felt to reduce the incidence of seizure.  Apparently it has been used in the 
low 100's in the US, and about 1,000 cases in Europe.  

He is a nice person, kind and gentle.  He has some learning difficulties, not 
surpringly.  I am tutoring him.  Obviously, the epilepsy is destroying his life right now.  We 
are all distressed.  Is this a reasonable procedure?  

Have any of you heard of this procedure?  If it works, why does it work?  Why did someone 
think to try it (i.e., what is the theoretical rationale)?  What are the risks?  

I'd appreciate comments.


  Thomas D. Wason, Ph.D.              1421 Park Drive
  Human-Computer Interactions         Raleigh, North Carolina 27605 USA
  wason at nando.net                     919.834.9842

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