Vagus nerve stimulation

What is vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) in bipolar disorder?

VNS provides indirect modulation of brain network activity through the stimulation of cranial nerves. Invasive VNS involves surgical implantation of a small pulse generator under the skin which is programmed to deliver long-lasting, intermittent electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve. Non-invasive stimulation involves attaching a stimulator to the outer ear close to the ear canal, which delivers electrical impulses through the skin to the vagus nerve.

What is the evidence for VNS?

Low quality evidence is unable to determine any benefit of invasive VNS for bipolar disorder. More research is needed.

November 2021

Image: ©metamorworks –

Last updated at: 5:13 pm, 9th November 2021
To view documentation related to this topic download the files below
Fact Sheet Technical Commentary

NeuRA Libraries

Title Colour Legend:
Green - Topic summary is available.
Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.