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Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants

ISSN Imprimir: 1050-6934
ISSN On-line: 1940-4379

Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants

DOI: 10.1615/JLongTermEffMedImplants.v20.i3.60
pages 251-267

Longer-term Effects of Implanted Vagal Nerve Stimulation

Markad V. Kamath
Department of Medicine, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, L8N 3Z5 Canada
Mary S. Thomson
McMaster University
Sneha Gaitonde
McMaster University
Adrian R. M. Upton
Division of Neurology, McMaster University Medical Centre, Room 4U6, 1200 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8N 3Z5


Vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) is a non-pharmacologic therapeutic intervention approved in adults and children with neuropsychiatric disorders. Studies conducted over the past 20 years have demonstrated that VNS results in immediate and longer-term changes in brain regions implicated in neuropsychiatric disorders, such as the thalamus, cerebellum, orbitofrontal cortex, limbic system, hypothalamus, and medulla with vagus innervations. This review summarizes the effects of longer-term implanted VNS and how the incorporation of this non-pharmacologic therapeutic management in the treatment regime can be beneficial to address the needs of patients who are unable to tolerate medications and/or undergo surgery and do not respond to pharmacologic therapies. We also highlight the therapeutic efficacy of longer-term implanted VNS, safety, tolerability, patient acceptance, adherence, and adverse events, if any, in adults and children in this modality of treatment.