Vagus nerve stimulation…25 years later! What do we know about the effects on cognition?

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2014 May 21. pii: S0149-7634(14)00122-5. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2014.05.005. [Epub ahead of print]

Vagus nerve stimulation…25 years later! What do we know about the effects on cognition?

Vonck K1, Raedt R2, Naulaerts J3, De Vogelaere F4, Thiery E5, Van Roost D6, Aldenkamp B7, Miatton M8, Boon P9.

Author information
  • 1Laboratory for Clinical and Experimental Neurophysiology, Neurobiology and Neuropsychology, Department of Neurology, Ghent University Hospital, De Pintelaan 185, 9000 Ghent, Belgium. Electronic address: Kristl.Vonck@UGent.be.
  • 2Laboratory for Clinical and Experimental Neurophysiology, Neurobiology and Neuropsychology, Department of Neurology, Ghent University Hospital, De Pintelaan 185, 9000 Ghent, Belgium. Electronic address: Robrecht.Raedt@UGent.be.
  • 3Laboratory for Clinical and Experimental Neurophysiology, Neurobiology and Neuropsychology, Department of Neurology, Ghent University Hospital, De Pintelaan 185, 9000 Ghent, Belgium. Electronic address: Joke.Naulaerts@UGent.be.
  • 4Laboratory for Clinical and Experimental Neurophysiology, Neurobiology and Neuropsychology, Department of Neurology, Ghent University Hospital, De Pintelaan 185, 9000 Ghent, Belgium. Electronic address: Ferderick.DeVogelaere@UGent.be.
  • 5Laboratory for Clinical and Experimental Neurophysiology, Neurobiology and Neuropsychology, Department of Neurology, Ghent University Hospital, De Pintelaan 185, 9000 Ghent, Belgium. Electronic address: Evert.Thiery@scarlet.be.
  • 6Laboratory for Clinical and Experimental Neurophysiology, Neurobiology and Neuropsychology, Department of Neurology, Ghent University Hospital, De Pintelaan 185, 9000 Ghent, Belgium. Electronic address: Dirk.VanRoost@UGent.be.
  • 7Epilepsy Centre Kempenhaeghe, Postbus 61, 5590 AB Heeze, The Netherlands; Maastricht University Medical Centre, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands. Electronic address: AldenkampB@Kempenhaeghe.nl.
  • 8Laboratory for Clinical and Experimental Neurophysiology, Neurobiology and Neuropsychology, Department of Neurology, Ghent University Hospital, De Pintelaan 185, 9000 Ghent, Belgium. Electronic address: Marijke.Miatton@UGent.be.
  • 9Laboratory for Clinical and Experimental Neurophysiology, Neurobiology and Neuropsychology, Department of Neurology, Ghent University Hospital, De Pintelaan 185, 9000 Ghent, Belgium; Epilepsy Centre Kempenhaeghe, Postbus 61, 5590 AB Heeze, The Netherlands. Electronic address: Paul.Boon@UGent.be.
Abstract

VNS therapy was delivered to patients for the first time in 1988. After 25 years, insight in the antiepileptic and antidepressant mechanism of action of VNS has grown steadily. The effects on cognition and especially memory, remain controversial. This review provides an elaborate overview of studies addressing cognition and describes potential underlying mechanisms for the reported effects. Short term VNS has an effect on verbal memory recognition when adminstered at the correct timing and dosage. Chronic VNS resulted into a positive effect on the cognitive status in an Alzheimer population. Positive effect of chronic VNS in epilepsy or depression patients on global cognitive functioning are less convincing. Neither do the results reveal a negative effect which has major implications for chronic treatment of neurology patients. A cascade of neurochemical processes put in motion by changes in NE concentrations in reaction to stimulation of the vagal nerve may underly the VNS-induced effects on cognition and memory. In Alzheimer pathology, NE may act as an anti-inflammatory agent on brainstem nuclei.

Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

KEYWORDS:

Alzheimer’s Disease, Quality of life, Vagus nerve stimulation, cognitive functioning, depression, epilepsy, locus coeruleus, memory, norepinephrine

PMID:

24858008

[PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24858008

 
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About vnstherapy

I'm a very, very long-time support person and health care and mental health advocate/activist for my spouse Joyce as well as to others. I'm also a retired business executive and former Board Member, President and facilitator of a local chapter of DBSA as well as a Florida State appointment as a Guardian Advocate. I do not endorse, promote or advertise for any therapy, product or company. I do share our personal experiences, my research and knowledge in the hope it might benefit someone or do I give advice as to what one should or shouldn't do. I extend my best wishes for wellness to one and all and all the good you’d wish for yourselves.
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