Transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation and the realm of its therapeutic hopes and physiologic enigmas

Author: Max J Hilz1, Armin Bolz2
1 Department of Neurology, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany; Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA. Electronic address:
2 tVNS Technologies GmbH, Ebrardstr. 31, 91054 Erlangen, Germany.
Conference/Journal: Auton Neurosci
Date published: 2022 Sep 28
Other: Volume ID: 243 , Pages: 103039 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.autneu.2022.103039. , Word Count: 122

Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is an established treatment option for patients with treatment resistant epilepsy and depression. However, the procedure is invasive and has side-effects. Transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (tVNS) is a non-invasive alternative. Particularly transcutaneous stimulation at the outer ear is gaining increasing interest. While the scope of therapeutic tVNS applications is expanding, there are still questions regarding the optimal stimulation parameters and site as well as the physiology and pathways of auricular tVNS. This Special Issue of Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic & Clinical provides an introduction and overview on basic aspects as well as special topics of tVNS.

Keywords: Auricular branch of the vagus nerve; Concha cymba; Locus coeruleus; Nucleus tractus solitarii; Tragus; Transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation.

PMID: 36279622 DOI: 10.1016/j.autneu.2022.103039