Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) for depression: What do we know now and what should be done next?

Ziad Nahas, Carol Burns, Milton J. Foust, Baron Short, Tal Herbsman, Mark S. George

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) therapy is the first US Food and Drug Administration-approved somatic clinical intervention for treatment-resistant depression (TRD). Long-term open data suggest a sustainable antidepressant response over time. Here we review the clinical data that exist so far and their limitations. We also discuss guidelines that may inform the clinical utilization of this procedure. Further clinical studies, in addition to prospective cost utilization and health economic investigations, are needed to better understand VNS therapy and the impact it holds on TRD care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-451
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent psychiatry reports
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Dr. Nahas has received research grant funding support and/or consulting fees from Cyberonics, Inc., Neuronet-ics, Inc., the National Institute of Mental Health (research grants only), Medtronic, Inc. (research grants only), Eli Lilly and Co. (research grants only), Integra (research grants only), Neurospace (research grants only), Avanir Pharmaceutical (consulting only), and Aventis Pharmaceutical (consulting only). He has also served on the speakers’ bureau for Cyberonics, Inc. Dr. George has received grant funding support from GlaxoSmithKline, Neuronetics, Inc., Cyberonics, Inc., Mediphysics/Amersham, and Cephos. He has served as a consultant for Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Argolyn Pharmaceuticals, Abbott Laboratories, and Neu-ronetics, Inc. He has served on the speakers’ bureau for Parke Davis, GlaxoSmithKline, and Cyberonics, Inc. He has engaged in formal research collaborations with Picker International (Philips) and Dantec (Medtronic). He has served on advisory boards for Cyberonics, Inc., NeuroPace, and Cephos. He also serves on the VNS Mechanisms of Action Committee for Cyberonics, Inc.


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