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Viva the Vagus: The Nerve Stimulation and Depression Quiz
by Staff
In treating depression, potential patients must meet fairly strict criteria to be considered for vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), initially used as a potential remedy for epilepsy and sleep apnea. How much do you know about depression and the vagus nerve?

Which Latin word is the vagus nerve named after?

  • sensitive
  • complicated
  • wandering
  • benign

What other name is the vagus nerve commonly called?

  • The 10th Cranial Nerve
  • The Whole Body Nerve
  • The Branch Nerve
  • The Elliptical Nerve

Which organs are connected by the vagus nerve?

  • brain and stomach
  • brain and heart
  • brain and lungs
  • all of the above

Which of the following is NOT a function of the vagus nerve?

  • satiation
  • eyesight
  • hearing
  • swallowing

Which of the following functions is the vagus nerve responsible for?

  • breathing
  • digestion
  • normal heart beat
  • all of the above

Typically, which of the following results from the vagus nerve being compressed?

  • unconsciousness
  • nausea
  • clammy, cool skin
  • all of the above

In VNS, what is used to stimulate the nerve?

  • chemicals
  • heat
  • electrical impulse
  • more cowbell

Where is the VNS pulse generator normally placed?

  • under the skin, by the chest
  • under the skin, on the stomach
  • under the skin, directly on the nerve
  • on a utility belt

What powers the VNS pulse generator?

  • solar panels
  • diesel fuel
  • a battery
  • movement

The VNS pulse generator is the size of which following object?

  • a computer microchip
  • a dime
  • a silver dollar
  • a ham sandwich

Candidates for VNS must meet which of the following criteria?

  • must be at least 18 years old
  • diagnosed with treatment-resistant depression
  • suffered from chronic depression for more than two years
  • all of the above

Prior to being considered for VNS, a patient must undergo which of the following treatments?

  • antidepressants
  • psychological counseling or psychotherapy
  • electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
  • all of the above

VNS is believed to do which of the following?

  • suppress abnormal neural activity
  • enhance neurotransmitter production
  • both of the above
  • none of the above

Which of the following is NOT a common side effect of VNS?

  • hoarseness
  • coughing
  • frequent urination
  • problems swallowing

Who can adjust the pattern of the impulses emitted by the stimulator?

  • the surgeon
  • the patient
  • a caregiver
  • all of the above

Which of the following medical procedures can have an adverse effect on the stimulator?

  • ultrasound
  • defibrillation
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
  • all of the above

The use of VNS to treat depression developed as a result of similar treatment for which ailment?

  • osteoarthritis
  • osteoporosis
  • angina
  • epilepsy

What is the price tag of a typical surgery to implant a VNS device?

  • $5,000
  • $10,000
  • $30,000
  • $50,000

Which of the following is the best way to describe the vagus nerve?

  • twin nerves
  • a single nerve
  • twin nerves with multiple branches
  • none of the above

Which of the following depression symptoms should not be treated with VNS?

  • acute suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • schizophrenia
  • delusional disorders
  • "rapid cycling" bipolar disorder
  • all of the above