Grand rounds: Neuromodulation in Tune with the Body’s Rhythms: Enhancing Clinical Outcomes with RAVANS
This talk will explore the known and unknown in the links between respiratory rhythm and vagus nerve physiology and clinically-applied stimulation.
Transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (tVNS) is a promising therapy for several visceral and brain disorders such as migraine, depression, and visceral pain. As the primary afferent relay for the vagus nerve lies in the medulla and is differentially influenced by different phases of the respiratory rhythm, we have proposed that Respiratory-Gated Vagal Afferent Nerve Stimulation (RAVANS) can enhance brainstem targeting, leading to enhanced clinical outcomes. This concept may also underlie theories of respiration rhythm influence on acupuncture needle insertion and stimulation, as evidenced in traditional Chinese medicine texts.