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About Non-Invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation (nVNS)

What is Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS)?

  • VNS is the use of electric currents to stimulate the vagus nerve.
  • These electrical impulses can be applied directly through implanted electrodes or non-invasively
    to the vagus nerve
  • Vagal sensory afferent cell bodies in the nodose ganglion project to the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS).1
  • The NTS has projections to many higher brain centers, including the amygdala, the dorsal raphe, locus coeruleus, the nucleus ambiguous, the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus, the parabrachial nucleus, the hypothalamus, and the thalamus.2
  • The recent development of a proprietary electrode configuration and signal allows for transcutaneous stimulation of vagus nerve afferents, which presents a novel therapeutic option in primary headache.

1. Groves & Brown, 2005, page 494
2. Hatton 2006, page 1243; Henry 2002, page4