Vagus Nerve Stimulation

Vagus Nerve Stimulation has been on my radar for some time but recent developments, especially in our understanding of the Brain-Gut connection have me paying more attention to what’s happening in VNS research. This post will serve as a simple introduction in hopes of inspiring your own curiosity and I’ll fill in the blanks as more information becomes available. Overview from Wikipedia: Vagus Nerve Stimulation.

From 2-Minute Neuroscience

A few more recent research articles.
Chronic Vagus Nerve Stimulation Significantly Improves Quality of Life in Treatment-Resistant Major Depression
Also known as tVNS, as in transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation
‘Tickle’ therapy could help slow aging
Effects of transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation in individuals aged 55 years or above: potential benefits of daily stimulation

A tVNS device attaches to the ear and gently provides electrical stimulation, which rebalances the autonomic nervous system.

Could VNS affect the relationship between the brain and the gut? Very early days, as this connection is only recently being explored.
Gut branches of vagus nerve essential components of brain’s reward and motivation system
Vagus Nerve as Modulator of the Brain–Gut Axis in Psychiatric and Inflammatory Disorders

And from 2015, a paper that showed positive outcomes in a working memory study.
Transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation boosts associative memory in older individuals pdf

And finally a couple of device manufacturers with products currently on the market. I have zero relation to any of these companies and am linking to them simply so you can see what the devices look like and how they are marketed. There are probably many more.
gammaCore
NEMOS
Monarch

 

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