The current literature on peripheral cranial nerve stimulation for the purpose of achieving therapeutic effects via altering brain activity is reviewed. Vagus nerve stimulation, which is approved for use in refractory epilepsy, is the most extensively studied cranial nerve stimulator that has direct impact on the central nervous system. Despite the recognized central effects of peripheral cranial nerve stimulation, the mechanism of action for all indications remains incompletely understood. Further research on both mechanisms and indications of central effects of cranial nerve stimulation has the potential to alleviate burden of disease in a large array of conditions.
Keywords: Central processing; Central reorganization; Cochlear implant; Cortical adaptation; Hearing loss; Vagal nerve stimulation.
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