vagus nerve stimulation
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2022 ◽  
Vol 25 (1) ◽  
pp. 68-79
Yomna Desoky ◽  
Alaa Abousetta ◽  
Hossam Talaat ◽  
Ibrahim Ibrahim

2022 ◽  
Nallammai Muthiah ◽  
Arka Mallela ◽  
Lena Vodovotz ◽  
Nikhil Sharma ◽  
Emefa Akwayena ◽  

Introduction Epilepsy impacts 470,000 children in the United States, and children with epilepsy are estimated to expend 6 times more on healthcare than those without epilepsy. For patients with antiseizure medication (ASM)-resistant epilepsy and unresectable seizure foci, vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is a treatment option. Predicting response to VNS has been historically challenging. We aimed to create a clinical prediction score which could be utilized in a routine outpatient clinical setting. Methods We performed an 11-year, single-center retrospective analysis of patients <21 years old with ASM-resistant epilepsy who underwent VNS. The primary outcome was >50% seizure frequency reduction after one year. Univariate and multivariate logistic regressions were performed to assess clinical factors associated with VNS response; 70% and 30% of the sample were used to train and validate the multivariate model, respectively. A prediction score was developed based on the multivariate regression. Sensitivity, specificity, and area under the receiver operating curve (AUC) were calculated. Results This analysis included 365 patients. Multivariate logistic regression revealed that variables associated with VNS response were: <4 years of epilepsy duration before VNS (p=0.008) and focal motor seizures (p=0.037). The variables included in the clinical prediction score were: epilepsy duration before VNS, age at seizure onset, number of pre-VNS ASMs, if VNS was the patient's first therapeutic epilepsy surgery, and predominant seizure semiology. The final AUC was 0.7013 for the "fitted" sample and 0.6159 for the "validation" sample. Conclusions We developed a clinical model to predict VNS response in one of the largest samples of pediatric VNS patients to date. While the presented clinical prediction model demonstrated an acceptable AUC in the training cohort, clinical variables alone likely do not accurately predict VNS response. This score may be useful upon further validation, though its predictive ability underscores the need for more robust biomarkers of treatment response.

Stavros Stavrakis ◽  
Khaled Elkholey ◽  
Lynsie Morris ◽  
Monika Niewiadomska ◽  
Zain Ul Abideen Asad ◽  

Background A systemic proinflammatory state plays a central role in the development of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. Low‐level transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation suppresses inflammation in humans. We conducted a sham‐controlled, double‐blind, randomized clinical trial to examine the effect of chronic low‐level transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation on cardiac function, exercise capacity, and inflammation in patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. Methods and Results Patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction and at least 2 additional comorbidities (obesity, diabetes, hypertension, or age ≥65 years) were randomized to either active (tragus) or sham (earlobe) low‐level transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (20 Hz, 1 mA below discomfort threshold), for 1 hour daily for 3 months. Echocardiography, 6‐minute walk test, quality of life, and serum cytokines were assessed at baseline and 3 months. Fifty‐two patients (mean age 70.4±9.2 years; 70% female) were included (active, n=26; sham, n=26). Baseline characteristics were balanced between the 2 arms. Adherence to the protocol of daily stimulation was >90% in both arms ( P >0.05). While the early mitral inflow Doppler velocity to the early diastolic mitral annulus velocity ratio did not differ between groups, global longitudinal strain and tumor necrosis factor‐α levels at 3 months were significantly improved in the active compared with the sham arm (−18.6%±2.5% versus −16.0%±2.4%, P =0.002; 8.9±2.8 pg/mL versus 11.3±2.9 pg/mL, P =0.007, respectively). The reduction in tumor necrosis factor‐α levels correlated with global longitudinal strain improvement (r=−0.73, P =0.001). Quality of life was better in the active arm. No device‐related side effects were observed. Conclusions Neuromodulation with low‐level transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation over 3 months resulted in a significant improvement in global longitudinal strain, inflammatory cytokines, and quality of life in patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. Registration URL: ; Unique identifier: NCT03327649.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
pp. 95
Andrés Molero-Chamizo ◽  
Michael A. Nitsche ◽  
Armin Bolz ◽  
Rafael Tomás Andújar Barroso ◽  
José R. Alameda Bailén ◽  

Stimulation of the vagus nerve, a parasympathetic nerve that controls the neuro-digestive, vascular, and immune systems, induces pain relief, particularly in clinical conditions such as headache and rheumatoid arthritis. Transmission through vagal afferents towards the nucleus of the solitary tract (NST), the central relay nucleus of the vagus nerve, has been proposed as the main physiological mechanism that reduces pain intensity after vagal stimulation. Chronic pain symptoms of fibromyalgia patients might benefit from stimulation of the vagus nerve via normalization of altered autonomic and immune systems causing their respective symptoms. However, multi-session non-invasive vagal stimulation effects on fibromyalgia have not been evaluated in randomized clinical trials. We propose a parallel group, sham-controlled, randomized study to modulate the sympathetic–vagal balance and pain intensity in fibromyalgia patients by application of non-invasive transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (tVNS) over the vagal auricular and cervical branches. We will recruit 136 fibromyalgia patients with chronic moderate to high pain intensity. The primary outcome measure will be pain intensity, and secondary measures will be fatigue, health-related quality of life, sleep disorders, and depression. Heart rate variability and pro-inflammatory cytokine levels will be obtained as secondary physiological measures. We hypothesize that multiple tVNS sessions (five per week, for 4 weeks) will reduce pain intensity and improve quality of life as a result of normalization of the vagal control of nociception and immune–autonomic functions. Since both vagal branches project to the NST, we do not predict significantly different results between the two stimulation protocols.

2022 ◽  
Vol 15 ◽  
April S. Caravaca ◽  
Yaakov A. Levine ◽  
Anna Drake ◽  
Michael Eberhardson ◽  
Peder S. Olofsson

Crohn’s disease is a chronic, idiopathic condition characterized by intestinal inflammation and debilitating gastrointestinal symptomatology. Previous studies of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), primarily in colitis, have shown reduced inflammation after electrical or pharmacological activation of the vagus nerve, but the scope and kinetics of this effect are incompletely understood. To investigate this, we studied the effect of electrical vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) in a rat model of indomethacin-induced small intestinal inflammation. 1 min of VNS significantly reduced small bowel total inflammatory lesion area [(mean ± SEM) sham: 124 ± 14 mm2, VNS: 62 ± 14 mm2, p = 0.002], intestinal peroxidation and chlorination rates, and intestinal and systemic pro-inflammatory cytokine levels as compared with sham-treated animals after 24 h following indomethacin administration. It was not known whether this observed reduction of inflammation after VNS in intestinal inflammation was mediated by direct innervation of the gut or if the signals are relayed through the spleen. To investigate this, we studied the VNS effect on the small bowel lesions of splenectomized rats and splenic nerve stimulation (SNS) in intact rats. We observed that VNS reduced small bowel inflammation also in splenectomized rats but SNS alone failed to significantly reduce small bowel lesion area. Interestingly, VNS significantly reduced small bowel lesion area for 48 h when indomethacin administration was delayed. Thus, 1 min of electrical activation of the vagus nerve reduced indomethacin-induced intestinal lesion area by a spleen-independent mechanism. The surprisingly long-lasting and spleen-independent effect of VNS on the intestinal response to indomethacin challenge has important implications on our understanding of neural control of intestinal inflammation and its potential translation to improved therapies for IBD.

Cephalalgia ◽  
2022 ◽  
pp. 033310242110688
Umer Najib ◽  
Timothy Smith ◽  
Nada Hindiyeh ◽  
Joel Saper ◽  
Barbara Nye ◽  

Aim Evaluate the efficacy and safety of non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation for migraine prevention. Methods After completing a 4-week diary run-in period, adults who had migraine with or without aura were randomly assigned to receive active non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation or sham therapy during a 12-week double-blind period. Results Of 336 enrolled participants, 113 (active, n = 56; sham, n = 57) completed ≥70 days of the double-blind period and were ≥66% adherent with treatment, comprising the prespecified modified intention-to-treat population. The COVID-19 pandemic led to early trial termination, and the population was ∼60% smaller than the statistical target for full power. Mean reduction in monthly migraine days (primary endpoint) was 3.12 for the active group and 2.29 days for the sham group (difference, −0.83; p = 0.2329). Responder rate (i.e. the percentage of participants with a ≥50% reduction in migraine days) was greater in the active group (44.87%) than the sham group (26.81%; p = 0.0481). Prespecified subgroup analysis suggested that participants with aura responded preferentially. No serious device-related adverse events were reported. Conclusions These results suggest clinical utility of non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation for migraine prevention, particularly for patients who have migraine with aura, and reinforce the well-established safety and tolerability profile of this therapy. Trial Registration: (NCT03716505).

2022 ◽  
Martina D'Agostini ◽  
Andreas M. Burger ◽  
Gustavo Villca Ponce ◽  
Stephan Claes ◽  
Andreas Leupoldt ◽  

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