Kristen Sparrow • September 30, 2018
Another article exploring the uses of transcutaneous auricular vagal nerve stimulation and the physiology of its effects. So many of the studies are small, so not definitive. I am also wary since there is a “gold rush” to produce expensive products to exploit the benefits of vagal nerve enhancement. Among the cited conditions that might be improved are are epilepsy, migraine, inflammation, depression.
Neuromodulation, thanks to intrinsic and extrinsic brain feedback loops, seems to be the best way to exploit brain plasticity for therapeutic purposes. In the past years, there has been tremendous advances in the field of non-pharmacological modulation of brain activity. This review of different neurostimulation techniques will focus on sites and mechanisms of both transcutaneous vagus and trigeminal nerve stimulation. These methods are scientifically validated non-invasive bottom-up brain modulation techniques, easily implemented from the outer ear. In the light of this, auricles could transpire to be the most affordable target for non-invasive manipulation of central nervous system functions.