Mood Changes From Vns Take Time, But Brain Changes Don't

Old study, but I didn't see it on this forum when I searched.

Apparently, significant brain metabolism changes occur long before any mood changes.


Study abstract:



“We saw very large changes in brain metabolism occurring far in advance of any improvement in mood,” says Dr. Conway. “It’s almost as if there’s an adaptive process that occurs. First, the brain begins to function differently. Then, the patient’s mood begins to improve.”



An exploratory whole brain analysis... demonstrated decreased 3 month right rostral cingulate and DLPFC CMRGlu, and increased 12 month left ventral tegmental CMRGlu in responders.


Early on, this process may involve decreased right-sided DLPFC/cingulate cortical activity; longer term effects (12 months) may lead to brainstem dopaminergic activation

Dopaminergic activation? Count me in.

You'd expect vagus nerve stimulation to be instant relief, but maybe that's not the case. And maybe it shouldn't be. Stable long-term brain changes are what we're all looking for, after all. Otherwise, we'd just do cocaine :)


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