Vagal Nerve Stimulator: Evolving Trends.

Vagal nerve stimulator: Evolving trends.

J Nat Sci Biol Med. 2013 Jan; 4(1): 8-13
Ogbonnaya S, Kaliaperumal C

Over three decades ago, it was found that intermittent electrical stimulation from the vagus nerve produces inhibition of neural processes, which can alter brain activity and terminate seizures. This paved way for the concept of vagal nerve stimulator (VNS). We describe the evolution of the VNS and its use in different fields of medicine. We also review the literature focusing on the mechanism of action of VNS producing desired effects in different conditions. PUBMED and EMBASE search was performed for ‘VNS’ and its use in refractory seizure management, depression, obesity, memory, and neurogenesis. VNS has been in vogue over for the past three decades and has proven to reduce the intensity and frequency of seizure by 50% in the management of refractory seizures. Apart from this, VNS has been shown to promote neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus of rat hippocampus after 48 hours of stimulation of the vagus nerve. Improvement has also been observed in non-psychotic major depression from a randomized trial conducted 7 years ago. The same concept has been utilized to alter behavior and cognition in rodents, and good improvement has been observed. Recent studies have proven that VNS is effective in obesity management in patients with depression. Several hypotheses have been postulated for the mechanism of action of VNS contributing to its success. VNS has gained significant popularity with promising results in epilepsy surgery and treatment-resistant depression. The spectrum of its use has also extended to other fields of medicine including obesity, memory, and neurogenesis, and there is still a viable scope for its utility in the future. HubMed – depression


Mirtazapine Provokes Periodic Leg Movements during Sleep in Young Healthy Men.

Sleep. 2013; 36(5): 661-9
Fulda S, Kloiber S, Dose T, Lucae S, Holsboer F, Schaaf L, Hennings J

Recent evidence suggests that certain antidepressants are associated with an increase of periodic leg movements (PLMS) that may disturb sleep. So far, this has been shown in patients clinically treated for depression and in cross-sectional studies for various substances, but not mirtazapine. It is unclear whether antidepressants induce the new onset of PLMS or only increase preexisting PLMS, and whether this is a general property of the antidepressant or only seen in depressed patients. We report here the effect of mirtazapine on PLMS in young healthy men.Open-labeled clinical trial (NCT00878540) including a 3-week preparatory phase with standardized food, physical activity, and sleep-wake behavior, and a 10-day experimental inpatient phase with an adaptation day, 2 baseline days, and 7 days with mirtazapine.Research institute.Twelve healthy young (20-25 years) men.Seven days of nightly intake (22:00) of 30 mg mirtazapine.Sleep was recorded on 2 drug-free baseline nights, the first 2 drug nights, and the last 2 drug nights. Eight of the 12 subjects showed increased PLMS after the first dose of mirtazapine. Frequency of PLMS was highest on the first drug night and attenuated over the course of the next 6 days. Three subjects reported transient restless legs symptoms.Mirtazapine provoked PLMS in 67% of young healthy males. The effect was most pronounced in the first days. The possible role of serotonergic, noradrenergic and histaminergic mechanisms in mirtazapine-induced PLMS is discussed. CITATION: Fulda S; Kloiber S; Dose T; Lucae S. Mirtazapine provokes periodic leg movements during sleep in young healthy men. SLEEP 2013;36(5):661-669. HubMed – depression


Correlates of HIV Risk Behaviors Among Homeless and Unstably Housed Young Adults.

Public Health Rep. 2013 May; 128(3): 153-60
Logan JL, Frye A, Pursell HO, Anderson-Nathe M, Scholl JE, Korthuis PT

Homeless young adults are exposed to multiple risk factors for HIV infection. We identified HIV risk behaviors and their correlates among homeless young adults in Portland, Oregon.We conducted a community-based, cross-sectional survey of HIV risk behaviors among homeless young adults aged 18-25 years in 2010. Participants completed three study components: (1) an interviewer-administered survey of HIV risk behaviors; (2) a brief, client-centered HIV risk-based counseling session; and (3) rapid HIV testing.Among 208 participants, 45.8% identified as racial/ethnic minority groups, 63.8% were male, and 35.7% self-identified as nonheterosexual. Six participants, all from sexual minority groups, had positive HIV screening results (two newly identified, four previously known) for a seropositivity rate of 2.9%. Female sex, belonging to a sexual minority group, frequent traveling between cities, depression, and alcohol use to intoxication were significantly associated with unprotected sex in univariate analysis. Female sex and high perceived risk of HIV were significantly associated with unprotected sex in multivariate analysis.Our findings support the need for enhanced HIV prevention interventions for homeless young adults. HubMed – depression