Vagal nerve stimulation: A review of its applications and potential mechanisms that mediate its clinical effects

DA Groves, Verity Joy Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

381 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) is an approved treatment for epilepsy and is currently under investigation as a therapy for other disorders, including depression, anxiety and Alzheimer's disease. This review examines the pre-clinical and clinical literature relating to VNS. A brief historical perspective is given, followed by consideration of the efficacy of the various clinical applications of VNS. Finally, what is known about the mechanism by which VNS exerts clinical benefit is considered. It is concluded that although the precise mechanism of action of VNS is still unknown, the search for the mechanism has the potential to lend new insight into the neuropathology of depression. It is important that prior assumptions about the influence of VNS on particular aspects of brain function do not constrain the investigations. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-500
Number of pages8
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2005

Keywords

  • vagus nerve
  • seizures
  • electroconvulsive therapy
  • antidepressant
  • brain stimulation
  • TREATMENT-RESISTANT DEPRESSION
  • VAGUS NERVE
  • LONG-TERM
  • PARTIAL SEIZURES
  • PARTIAL EPILEPSY
  • RAT-BRAIN
  • FIBERS
  • VNS
  • HIPPOCAMPUS
  • PERFORMANCE

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