My faithful patient, M, forwarded me this fascinating article about using direct vagal stimulation in a long term coma patient. As blog readers know, I’m always experimenting with ways to improve vagal tone with various acupuncture methods, ear stimulation, and other modalities. In this article they found that direct vagal stimulation improved brain connectivity.
“researchers found improvement in the patient’s brain activity, based on an EEG signal used to determine rudimentary consciousness. The signal increased in areas of the brain devoted to things like awareness, movement and sensation. Metabolic activity and brain connectivity also rose.”
It is way too early to tout this as a therapy for coma patients, but it might help to illustrate the potential in targeting the vagus nerve and paying attention to its response as measured by HRV.