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Need of Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) for Depression

Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) might be an option for individuals with treatment-resistant depression.


Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) therapy is a treatment for epilepsy that encompasses a stimulator that is connected, inside the body, to the left side of vagus nerve in the neck region. The stimulator will send regular, slight electrical stimulations through this nerve to calm down the uneven electrical brain activity that hints to seizures.

There are numerous ways to treat epilepsy. Well, every single treatment works differently from one person to another person. Vagus nerve stimulation therapy is a type of treatment for individuals with epilepsy whose seizures are not cured with medication.

How Vagus Nerve Stimulation works

There are 2 vagus nerves one nerve on each side of the body. Both the nerves start at the base of the neck area and run through the brain stem down to the chest. VNS implicates the surgical embedding of a device called a pulse generator in the chest area. This device is somewhat bigger than a silver dollar. It is linked to the left vagus nerve through a wire eased beneath the skin. The pulse generator is encoded to provide electric current in constant cycles. It stimulates the nerve for a fixed period of time. Then the nerve pauses for several minutes of time before giving out the next pulse.

Medics aren’t completely sure how stimulation of the vagus nerve eases symptoms of depression. It seems that VNS might reset the chemical imbalances in the mood cores of the brain. Several medical experts have compared this to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). ECT is a treatment that includes stimulating the parts of the brain with electrical thumps.

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