Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is a moderately effective adjunctive treatment for patients suffering from medically refractory epilepsy and is explored as a treatment option for several other disorders. The present review provides a critical appraisal of the studies on VNS in animal models of seizures and epilepsy. So far, these studies mostly applied short-term VNS in seizure models, demonstrating that VNS can suppress and prevent seizures and affect epileptogenesis. However, the mechanism of action is still largely unknown. Moreover, studies with a clinically more relevant setup where VNS is chronically applied in epilepsy models are scarce. Future directions for research and the application of this technology in animal models of epilepsy are discussed. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.
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