How VNS Therapy Works
The vagus nerve is one of the primary communication pathways from the major organs of the body to the brain. VNS (vagus nerve stimulation) Therapy is delivered by a pulse generator (like a pacemaker) and thin, flexible wires that send mild pulses to the vagus nerve in the left side of the neck. The vagus nerve delivers these pulses to the areas of the brain involved in the regulation of mood. VNS Therapy targets specific areas of the brain that affect the production or activity of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and norepinephrine .1

To learn more about the unique way in which VNS Therapy works, watch this brief video below.

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"The device delivers very mild intermittent brief pulses to the left vagus nerve.

"The pulses that are delivered to the left vagus nerve are transmitted to the central nervous system, and they go to specific areas in the central nervous system that control mood, motivation, sleep, appetite, and other symptoms that are relevant to depression."

A. John Rush, MD, Vice Chair, Department of Clinical Sciences Professor, Department of Psychiatry University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas

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1. Depression Physician's Manual. VNS Therapy Pulse Model 102 Generator and VNS Therapy Pulse Duo Model 102R Generator. Houston, Tex: Cyberonics, Inc.; May 2005.

The VNS Therapy System is indicated for use as an adjunctive therapy in reducing the frequency of seizures in adults and adolescents over 12 years of age with partial onset seizures, which are refractory to antiepileptic medications.

VNS Therapy (or the VNS Therapy System) is indicated for the adjunctive long-term treatment of chronic or recurrent depression for patients over the age of 18 who are experiencing a major depressive episode and have not had an adequate response to four or more adequate antidepressant treatments.