Cerebral blood flow changes during vagus nerve stimulation for depression

Charles R. Conway, Yvette I. Sheline, John T. Chibnall, Mark S. George, James W. Fletcher, Mark A. Mintun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Scopus citations


Positron emission tomography (PET oxygen-15 labeled water or PET [15O]H2O) was used to identify changes in regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in response to acute vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) in four subjects with treatment-resistant major depression (TRMD). Four 90-s PET [15O]H2O scans were performed on each subject in an off-on sequence (2 VNS de-activated; 2 VNS activated). PET images were aligned, normalized for global uptake, and resampled to standard atlas space. Statistical t-images were used to evaluate change. VNS-induced increases in rCBF were found in the bilateral orbitofrontal cortex, bilateral anterior cingulate cortex, and right superior and medial frontal cortex. Decreases were found in the bilateral temporal cortex and right parietal area. Regions of change were consistent with brain structures associated with depression and the afferent pathways of the vagus nerve.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-184
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 31 2006


  • Affective disorder
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Regional blood flow
  • Vagus nerve stimulation


Dive into the research topics of 'Cerebral blood flow changes during vagus nerve stimulation for depression'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this