ELECTRICALLY stimulating the vagus nerve in the neck with a surgically implanted device can reduce the frequency of epileptic fits, say researchers in the US and Europe. The device, which has been tested on 127 patients, is implanted under the skin of the chest and electrodes from it are extended up to the neck. It is programmed to stimulate the vagus nerve every 5 to 15 minutes. Researchers found that after a year the average frequency of fits in epileptic patients had fallen by 36 per cent. The only side effect, they state in New Scientist, is a tingling feeling.