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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The role of the vagus nerve in depression.

Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2010 Nov 21;31(5). [Epub ahead of print]

The role of the vagus nerve in depression.

Institute of Pathophysiology, Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University, Slovakia.


The etiopathogenesis of depression is a highly complex process characterized by several neurobiological alterations including decreased monoamine neurotransmission in the brain, dysregulated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity, decreased neuronal plasticity, and chronic inflammation in the brain and peripheral tissues. Experimental and clinical studies indicate that the vagus nerve may influence these processes. The importance of the vagus nerve in the etiopathogenesis of depression is further supported by its involvement in the induction of sickness behavior, as well as by clinical studies confirming a beneficial effect of vagus nerve stimulation in depressed patients. The aim of this article is to describe current knowledge of aferent and efferent vagal pathways role in the development and progression of depression.
PMID: 21173739 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher

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