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Vagus Nerve Might Play a Role in Fighting Inflammatory Disease

Last Updated: January 11, 2017.

Paired cervical vagus nerve stimulation (cVNS) with kilohertz electrical stimulation nerve block can preferentially activate efferent pathways, enhancing the anti-inflammatory benefits of cVNS, according to a study published online Jan. 5 in Scientific Reports.

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 11, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Paired cervical vagus nerve stimulation (cVNS) with kilohertz electrical stimulation (KES) nerve block can preferentially activate efferent pathways, enhancing the anti-inflammatory benefits of cVNS, according to a study published online Jan. 5 in Scientific Reports.

Noting that the efferent pathway should be selectively activated in order to clinically implement anti-inflammatory therapy via cVNS, but that current implementations of cVNS activate both afferent and efferent pathways, Yogi A. Patel, from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, and colleagues paired cVNS with KES nerve block to preferentially activate efferent pathways while blocking afferent pathways.

The researchers found that the anti-inflammatory effects of cVNS were enhanced with selective efferent cVNS. Afferent cVNS synchronously activated the greater splanchnic nerve in a dose-dependent manner. Complete afferent KES nerve block enabling efferent cVNS enhanced the anti-inflammatory benefits of cVNS; systemic inflammation was exacerbated by incomplete afferent KES nerve block.

"Overall, these data demonstrate the utility of paired efferent cVNS and afferent KES nerve block for achieving selective efferent cVNS, specifically as it relates to neuromodulation of systemic inflammation," the authors write.

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