Vagal nerve stimulation
The vagus nerve is an important factor of the autonomic nervous system that regulates metabolic homeostasis and functions as a crucial component of the neuroendocrine-immune axis in maintaining homeostasis via its afferent and efferent pathways.
Any approach that stimulates the vagus nerve, including manual or electrical stimulation, is called vagus nerve stimulation (VNS). For refractory epilepsy and treatment-resistant depression, left cervical VNS is an approved therapy.
It is linked to the voice box, diaphragm, stomach, heart motor processes, and sensory functions in the ears and tongue. In the sinuses and esophagus, it is linked to both motor and sensory functions.
VNS uses an instrument that looks like a pacemaker to provide regular, moderate electrical pulses to the brain via the vagus nerve. It’s vital to remember that VNS is only available to a narrow group of people with epilepsy or treatment-resistant depression.
Patients who meet the following criteria may be unsuitable for VNS:
- There is only one vagus nerve
- Receiving different types of brain stimulation at the same time
- Arrhythmias or other disorders of the heart
- Dysautonomia is a condition in which a person has no control over their (abnormal functioning of the autonomic nervous system)
- Lung problems or illnesses (shortness of breath, asthma, etc.)
- Ulcers are a type of ulcer (gastric, duodenal, etc.)
- Vasovagal syncope is a type of syncope that occurs when the heart (fainting)
- Hoarseness that has been there for some time