Has anyone been helped by Vagus nerve stimulation?

Bansaw

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Just wondering about this. I know that I have gut disbiosis, and heard devices that stimulate the vagus nerve can help in many cases.
Anyone tried it, and can anyone recommend an affordable device?
I am wary of speding $500 on a device that does not work for me and I'm stuck with it.
 

kangaSue

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Just wondering about this. I know that I have gut disbiosis, and heard devices that stimulate the vagus nerve can help in many cases.
Anyone tried it, and can anyone recommend an affordable device?
I am wary of speding $500 on a device that does not work for me and I'm stuck with it.
There was a few different vagus nerve stimulating devices discussed here https://www.inspire.com/kangaSue/journal/portable-vagus-nerve-stimulator-for-gastroparesis-1/
I haven't tried any of the devices discussed because I have an experimental gastric pacemaker and have been advised that it's not known if it's compatible with other electrical field generators but I know of a couple of people with gastroparesis who have tried the Gammacore device without success.
 

junkcrap50

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Yes, I've tried TRANS-CUTANEOUS vagus nerve stimulation. DO NOT SPEND $500 on a machine. There is definitely no need to spend that much. If you look closely at the papers for transcutaneous vagus never stimulation, you can find the exact TENS device they used, I believe it costs around $50. I looked at it and all the features it has and bought a TENS device similar to it that had all the same features.

It didn't seem to do much for me, but I didn't stick with it past 3 weeks or so. I also don't seem to have many vagal symptoms like POTS or anything else.

If you have any questions, just ask and I will answer them the best I can.

PS: there is scientific evidence of this and it does work.
 
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Hi! I've bought the TENs thing for my wife (she is ME) and tried first it on myself with the following settings 20 HZ 100 ms and 1 second on and 1 second off for 15 min in general. Actually I didn't expect such a strong effect. I wouldn't say it was great. For the right ear I felt like something is happening with my heart and some symptoms of the upcoming unconsciousness. As for the left ear I felt like something is happening with my nerves. I can't explain even. I'm a little afraid to try it on my wife. Where can I read about vagus nerve stimulation for ME? Which ear is the best to use, which parameters to set?
 

JasonUT

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Vagus Nerve Stimulation:
  1. My doctor believe strongly that the "mind-body" relationship is a factor in POTS.
  2. As a result, I have been researching a variety of ways to do VNS.
  3. 30 ways to stimulate the Vagus Nerve - Link
  4. I am very interested in using a TENS unit for VNS via the ear. However, I am having trouble finding info on what to buy and how to do this.
Is there anyone out there that can point me to some helpful guides or info?

At this point, I am leaning towards a TENS 7000 unit, but I need a lot of help on what ear clips to buy and how to properly use the ear clips. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

sb4

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At this point, I am leaning towards a TENS 7000 unit, but I need a lot of help on what ear clips to buy and how to properly use the ear clips. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
You will probably need to engineer your own. I think it was @anne_likes_red who posted some decent info on it. I basically got some regular electric ear lobe clip things and I took the clip off one and reduced the length of it so that I could wedge it in my ear where the concha (???) is. Was uncomfortable this way though.
 

kangaSue

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  1. I am very interested in using a TENS unit for VNS via the ear. However, I am having trouble finding info on what to buy and how to do this.
Is there anyone out there that can point me to some helpful guides or info?
You really need something like the clips shown in this article;
https://bmccomplementalternmed.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1472-6882-14-203

This is a Chinese study and I couldn't find a similar TENS device as they used (Huatuo ear vagus nerve stimulator (TENS-200) developed by Suzhou manufacture of Medical Device and Material). I did have a link for someone on ebay selling some very similar ear clips but I can't find it now.

This paper shows some frequencies tried for auricular transcutaneous VNS;
https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2013/371543/
 

JasonUT

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@kangaSue Great info! Thanks so much for sharing!

I ordered the following two types of clips, because it is all I kind find right now.
  1. https://www.amazon.com/Ear-Clip-Sti...ens+ear+clips&qid=1557498447&s=gateway&sr=8-3
  2. https://www.tenspros.com/black-ear-clip-electrodes-EAE01.html
It appears that some people place one clip on the tragus of the left ear and another on the lobule of the left ear. Apparently, left ear vagus branch has a greater affect on the parasympathetic response, while the right ear affects the heart somehow. Still confused and trying to piece together the puzzle.

 

JasonUT

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Another good article for discussion:
Non-invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Healthy Humans Reduces Sympathetic Nerve Activity
Link

Link to full study.

Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation (tVNS) tVNS was performed using a Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) device (V-TENS Plus, Body Clock Health Care Ltd, UK) with modified surface electrodes. Electrodes were placed on the inner and outer surface of the tragus of the ear. Active tVNS (n = 34) was applied continuously for 15 minutes with a pulse width of 200 µs and pulse frequency of 30 Hz. Amplitude was adjusted to the level of sensory threshold (10-50 mA).
Discussion This study shows that transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (tVNS) can alter cardiovascular autonomic control in healthy humans and highlights the role of the sympathetic nervous system in mediating tVNS effects. tVNS significantly decreased LF/HF ratio, indicating improved heart rate variability with a shift in cardiac autonomic balance towards parasympathetic/vagal dominance. This shift occurred alongside a decrease in MSNA, revealed by microneurography during tVNS.
 
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kangaSue

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I've been having a bit of a look into any new developments in this area since I saw your post yesterday and was going to mention this paper to you and suggest that the area of the tragus was another spot to try seeing as I can't find anyone else selling those concha-type ear clips.

I was thinking that you could maybe cut down one of the small TENS dot electrodes to place on the concha spot though, or even one of the disposable type ECG stick on electrodes.

It's interesting that many sources suggest only stimulating the left ear in the same vein as only using TENS on the left side for VNS but I saw it suggested that stimulating the right auricular branch of the vagus nerve is not the same as stimulating the right cervical branch which can cause bradycardia. The auricular branch does not connect to the SA node.

There are a few other good recent papers on tVNS that you should find of interest too.
https://www.neuralengr.org/wp-conte...s-auricular-vagus-nerve-stimulation-taVNS.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5874575/ Auricular Neuromodulation: The Emerging Concept beyond the Stimulation of Vagus and Trigeminal Nerves.
[Shows several ear points that can stimulate afferent branch of the vagus nerve, tragus being another main point]

http://www.jneurology.com/articles/...imulation-of-vagus-and-trigeminal-nerves.html Commentary: Auricular Neuromodulation: The Emerging Concept Beyond the Stimulation of Vagus and Trigeminal Nerve

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5371220/ Innervation of the Human Cavum Conchae and Auditory Canal: Anatomical Basis for Transcutaneous Auricular Nerve Stimulation

There's a bit of discrepancy in the currents I've seen suggested as being used (anything from 3mA to about 25mA so not sure what's the best range. Haven't had a chance to look further into it but a couple of posters in the reddit forums have suggested microcurrent therapy is the better way of doing tVNS. around 0.4 mA, so I guess it's all still work in progress as to what's best and for what you're trying to treat.
 

JasonUT

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There's a bit of discrepancy in the currents I've seen suggested as being used (anything from 3mA to about 25mA so not sure what's the best range. Haven't had a chance to look further into it but a couple of posters in the reddit forums have suggested microcurrent therapy is the better way of doing tVNS. around 0.4 mA, so I guess it's all still work in progress as to what's best and for what you're trying to treat.
I did get a TENS 7000. It has dial for power marked 0 thru 8. I don't know how this equates to mA. I have turned the dial to subtle perception of current without pain. It almost feels like a very slight, but rapid pin prick affect on the tragus.

I am not very happy with the ear clips I am currently using. It's very difficult to keep them in place on the tragus.
 

JasonUT

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https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5874575/

According to the study by Peuker and Filler (2002), performed on seven cadavers,
  1. cymba conchae is exclusively supplied by the ABVN;
  2. cavity of conchae is supplied by ABVN solely in 45% of cases and by both ABVN and the great auricular nerve (GAN) of the cervical plexus (C1, C2) in 55% of cases ;
  3. tail of helix and the scapha, the lobule and the antitragus are exclusively supplied by GAN;
  4. antihelix is supplied by ABVN solely in 73%, exclusively by GAN in 18% and by both ABVN and GAN in 9% ;
  5. the crura of antihelix are supplied by GAN in 91% and ABVN in 9% ;
  6. the crus of helix is supplied in 80% by the trigeminal ATN and in 20% by the ABVN;
  7. the spine of the helix in 91% by ATN and GAN in 9% ;
  8. at last, tragus is supplied exclusively by GAN in 45%; in 9% by ATN solely and by both in 47%.

It is noteworthy that the external ear is the only place on the surface of the body with afferent vagus nerve distribution that provides, through the auricular branch of the vagus nerve (ABVN), somatic afferents from the ear to the spinal trigeminal nucleus, which, along with the principal trigeminal nucleus, is the main recipient of the trigeminal afferent system. The external ear is also innervated by trigeminal nerve fibres, travelling in the auriculotemporal nerve (ATN), which partially overlap with the vagus territory, as described in detail below.


ABVN - Auricular Branch of the Vagus Nerve - Wiki Link
ATN - Auricular Temporal Nerve - Wiki Link
GAN - Great Auricular Nerve - Wiki Link
 
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JasonUT

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Found another interesting study as it relates to tVNS and inflammatory markers.

Noninvasive Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation Decreases Whole Blood CultureDerived Cytokines and Chemokines: A Randomized, Blinded, Healthy Control Pilot Trial - Link