Vagus nerve stimulation

Hello there,
I'm a Ph.D. candidate, and I'm currently developing a vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) procedure for stroke rehabilitation.
Since I'm curious, does anyone here have any experience with VNS or did any research on it?

The findings seem promising and tempting from a biohacking perspective, and with TENS devices, a stimulator can be homebuild cheaply.

If someone is interested in discussing the issue, I'm happy to link some interesting articles.

Comments

  • I am very interested in brain stimulation. Link what you have. What are the potential benefits and side effects? Do you have instructions for building the device?
  • edited August 21

    I would argue that we are still in the euphoric phase of scientific discovery with VNS, which means there are many potential findings with minor reproducibility.

    Additionally, there may be differences between cervical (invasive) and auricular (noninvasive) VNS. I'm primarily involved with auricular VNS.
    For a comprehensive review, I recommend the two-part review from Kaniusas et al.
    (Part I Physiological and Part II Engineering)

    Cellular effects are primarily assessed in animal research for obvious reasons but are often conducted with cervical VNS. The translation of these findings is not trivial.

    That being said, there are promising results in animal research. Predominated by anti-inflammatory effects (PPARy and α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor), the release of neurotrophic factors and increases in neurogenesis (Link), increases in neuroplasticity (Link), and neuroprotection (Link).

    There are also findings suggesting cognitive benefits in human samples, among others; improvements in treatment-resistant depression (Link), improvements in working memory, and visual attention (Link), and increases in reward-seeking behavior (Link).

    I would argue that there are no known side effects for auricular VNS. Besides potential skin irritation.

    Building a device is relatively easy; just buy a commercial TENS device that allows you to set the pulse-width, frequency, and stimulation current and solder some 5mm AG/AGCL cup electrodes to it. Place the electrodes at the cymba conchae and fix them with some "EC2+ Electrode Cream". I also designed a 3D-printable holder for ground-down 10mm cup electrodes, but I may want to publish the design in a journal, so I won't post it here yet.
    Total costs for one side would be around 100$ or less depending on the price you pay for individual components.

  • > @Peppercastle said:
    > I would argue that we are still in the euphoric phase of scientific discovery with VNS, which means there are many potential findings with minor reproducibility.
    >
    > Additionally, there may be differences between cervical (invasive) and auricular (noninvasive) VNS. I'm primarily involved with auricular VNS.
    > For a comprehensive review, I recommend the two-part review from Kaniusas et al.
    > (doi: 10.3389/fnins.2019.00854 and doi: 10.3389/fnins.2019.00772)
    >
    > Cellular effects are primarily assessed in animal research for obvious reasons but are often conducted with cervical VNS. The translation of these findings is not trivial.
    >
    > That being said, there are promising results in animal research. Predominated by anti-inflammatory effects (DOI:10.12659/MSM.891407 and DOI:10.1016/j.xcrm.2022.100696), the release of neurotrophic factors and increases in neurogenesis (DOI:10.1016/j.euroneuro.2017.12.004), increases in neuroplasticity (DOI:10.14748/bmr.v30.6391), and neuroprotection (DOI:10.1177/1545968320948065).
    >
    > There are also findings suggesting cognitive benefits in human samples, among others; improvements in treatment-resistant depression (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.comppsych.2019.152156), improvements in working memory, and visual attention (https://doi.org/10.1080/13803395.2017.1285869), and increases in reward-seeking behavior (https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-17344-9).
    >
    > I would argue that there are no known side effects for auricular VNS. Besides potential skin irritation.
    >
    > Building a device is relatively easy; just buy a commercial TENS device that allows you to set the pulse-width, frequency, and stimulation current and solder some 5mm AG/AGCL cup electrodes to it. Place the electrodes at the cymba conchae and fix them with some "EC2+ Electrode Cream". I also designed a 3D-printable holder for ground-down 10mm cup electrodes, but I may want to publish the design in a journal, so I won't post it here yet.
    > Total costs for one side would be around 100$ or less depending on the price you pay for individual components.

    Your links don't seem to be working. Can you post them again?
  • I fixed them in the original post.

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