Vagus Nerve and Vagus Nerve Stimulation, a Comprehensive Review: Part III.

Author: Yuan H1, Silberstein SD1
1Jefferson Headache Center, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Conference/Journal: Headache.
Date published: 2016 Mar
Other: Volume ID: 56 , Issue ID: 3 , Pages: 479-90 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1111/head.12649. Epub 2015 Sep 14. , Word Count: 153

Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is currently undergoing multiple trials to explore its potential for various clinical disorders. To date, VNS has been approved for the treatment of refractory epilepsy and depression. It exerts antiepileptic or antiepileptogenic effect possibly through neuromodulation of certain monoamine pathways. Beyond epilepsy, VNS is also under investigation for the treatment of inflammation, asthma, and pain. VNS influences the production of inflammatory cytokines to dampen the inflammatory response. It triggers the systemic release of catecholamines that alleviates the asthma attack. VNS induces antinociception by modulating multiple pain-associated structures in the brain and spinal cord affecting peripheral/central nociception, opioid response, inflammation process, autonomic activity, and pain-related behavior. Progression in VNS clinical efficacy over time suggests an underlying disease-modifying neuromodulation, which is an emerging field in neurology. With multiple potential clinical applications, further development of VNS is encouraging.

© 2015 American Headache Society.

KEYWORDS: neuromodulation; vagus nerve; vagus nerve stimulation

PMID: 26364805 DOI: 10.1111/head.12649