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How can vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) help with treating depression?

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This surgical procedure uses a pacemaker-like device to send electrical impulses to the vagus nerve, which connects to areas of the brain believed to be involved in regulating mood. The impulses may relieve symptoms of depression by changing the way nerve cell circuits transmit signals in areas of the brain that affect mood. It usually takes several months for you to notice any improvements.

SOURCES: American Psychiatric Association, , 2000. Avery, D.H., "A Controlled Study of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Medication-Resistant Major Depression," , August 31, 2005. Cadieux, R.J. , December 1998; vol. 58: pp. 2059-62. Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance web site, "Finding Peace of Mind: Treatment Strategies for Depression and Bipolar Disorder" and "New Technologies in the Treatment of Mood Disorders." Fochtmann, L.J. and Gelenberg, A.J. , Winter, 2005; vol 3: pp 34-42. Holtzheimer, P.E. et al., "Focal Brain Stimulation for Treatment-Resistant Depression: Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, Vagus-Nerve Stimulation, and Deep-Brain Stimulation," , February 2005; vol 12: pp 57-64. Keller, M.B., , 2005; vol. 66 (supp. 8): pp 5-12. Mayberg, H.S. et al., "Deep brain stimulation for treatment-resistant depression," , March 3, 2005; vol 45: pp 651-660. Stanford, A.D."Magnetic Seizure Therapy and Other Convulsive Therapies," , October 2005; vol 12: pp 44-50. Stimmel, G., "Options for Treatment-resistant Depression," , July 2002; vol 19.









Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Major DepressionBiological PsychiatryAmerican Family PhysicianFocusPrimary PsychiatryJournal of Clinical PsychiatryNeuronPrimary PsychiatryPsychiatric Times

WebMD: "Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) for Depression."

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on May 11, 2018

SOURCES: American Psychiatric Association, , 2000. Avery, D.H., "A Controlled Study of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Medication-Resistant Major Depression," , August 31, 2005. Cadieux, R.J. , December 1998; vol. 58: pp. 2059-62. Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance web site, "Finding Peace of Mind: Treatment Strategies for Depression and Bipolar Disorder" and "New Technologies in the Treatment of Mood Disorders." Fochtmann, L.J. and Gelenberg, A.J. , Winter, 2005; vol 3: pp 34-42. Holtzheimer, P.E. et al., "Focal Brain Stimulation for Treatment-Resistant Depression: Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, Vagus-Nerve Stimulation, and Deep-Brain Stimulation," , February 2005; vol 12: pp 57-64. Keller, M.B., , 2005; vol. 66 (supp. 8): pp 5-12. Mayberg, H.S. et al., "Deep brain stimulation for treatment-resistant depression," , March 3, 2005; vol 45: pp 651-660. Stanford, A.D."Magnetic Seizure Therapy and Other Convulsive Therapies," , October 2005; vol 12: pp 44-50. Stimmel, G., "Options for Treatment-resistant Depression," , July 2002; vol 19.









Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Major DepressionBiological PsychiatryAmerican Family PhysicianFocusPrimary PsychiatryJournal of Clinical PsychiatryNeuronPrimary PsychiatryPsychiatric Times

WebMD: "Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) for Depression."

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on May 11, 2018

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