Vagus nerve stimulation

What is vagus nerve stimulation (VNS)?

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 non-invasive VNS for the symptoms of schizophrenia. Review authors state that many patients did not adhere to the study protocol, which would have affected the results. No studies were identified that assessed invasive VNS for schizophrenia.

March 2019

Last updated at: 11:18 pm, 18th March 2019
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Title Colour Legend:
Green - Topic summary is available.
Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.