Neurochemical effects of vagus nerve stimulation in humans

Edward J. Hammond, B. M. Uthman, B. J. Wilder, E. Ben-Menachem, A. Hamberger, T. Hedner, R. Ekman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


An implanted stimulating device chronically stimulated the left cervical vagus nerve in epileptic patients. Cerebrospinal fluid concentrations of free and total γ-aminobutyric acid, homovanillic acid, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid, aspartate, glutamate, aspargine, serine, glutamine, glycine, phosphoethanolamine, taurine, alanine, tyrosine, ethanolamine, valine, phenylalanine, isoleucine, vasoactive intestinal peptide, β-endorphin, and somatostatin were measured before and after 2 months of chronic stimulation in six patients. Significant increases were seen in homovanillic acid and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid in three patients, and significant decreases in aspartate were seen in five patients. These changes were associated with a decrease in seizure frequency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-303
Number of pages4
JournalBrain research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Aspartate
  • Dopamine
  • Neurotransmitter
  • Serotonin
  • Vagus nerve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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