Vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) therapy is a surgical treatment that involves the implantation of a device to electrically stimulate the vagus nerve. It is indicated as an adjunctive treatment of epilepsy that is refractory to antiepileptic medications and for treatment-resistant depression. The exact mechanism by which VNS achieves its effects is not known, but various mechanisms have been proposed, including afferent vagal projections to seizure-generating regions of the brain and desynchronization of hypersynchronized cortical activity. The most common complications of VNS therapy include hoarseness, throat pain/dysphagia, coughing, and shortness of breath.
Keywords: Depression; Epilepsy; Intractable; Seizure; Treatment resistant; VNS; Vagal nerve stimulation; Vagus nerve.
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