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Single low-magnitude electric pulse successfully fights inflammation

Date:
May 13, 2015
Source:
North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Health System
Summary:
The results of research on the therapeutic potential of vagus nerve stimulation have now been released. Prior to this study, it was not understood which vagus nerve fiber types were responsible for reducing the body's inflammatory activity. The paper's findings indicate that activation of either motor or sensory vagus nerve bundles can diminish inflammation.
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The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, the research arm of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, and SetPoint Medical Inc., a biomedical technology company, released the results of research on the therapeutic potential of vagus nerve stimulation. In a paper published by Bioelectronic Medicine, Kevin J. Tracey, MD, and his colleagues at the Feinstein Institute, explore how low-level electrical stimulation interacts with the body's nerves to reduce inflammation, a fundamental goal of bioelectronic medicine.

Prior to this study, it was not understood which vagus nerve fiber types were responsible for reducing the body's inflammatory activity. The paper's findings indicate that activation of either motor or sensory vagus nerve bundles can diminish inflammation.

"Identifying the exact role of the different nerve bundles in the inflammatory reflex bolsters our understanding of the relationship between the central nervous system and the vagus nerve," said Dr. Kevin J. Tracey, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institute. "Furthermore, we now know that stimulating the vagus nerve for as little as half a millisecond is enough to inhibit tumor necrosis factor (TNF) production."

After establishing the neural bundles activated in vagus nerve stimulation, the researchers found that only low-intensity, short-duration, electric pulses were needed to reduce the production of inflammation-inducing cytokines. Repetition of the pulses did not increase the success of the treatment in this experiment indicating that a single stimulating pulse is potentially sufficient.

"Seeing successful results with low-level electrical current is a significant finding," said Yaakov Levine, PhD, senior research scientist, SetPoint Medical. "This indicates the potential for limited side effects, as well as promise for device miniaturization, both of which will be important to bringing vagus nerve stimulation into the mainstream."


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Materials provided by North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Health System. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yaakov A Levine, Frieda Koopman, Michael Faltys, Ralph Zitnik, and Paul-Peter Tak. Neurostimulation of the Cholinergic Antiinflammatory Pathway in Rheumatoid Arthritis and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Bioelectronic Medicine, May 2015 DOI: 10.15424/bioelectronmed.2014.00008

Cite This Page:

North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Health System. "Single low-magnitude electric pulse successfully fights inflammation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 May 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150513093607.htm>.
North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Health System. (2015, May 13). Single low-magnitude electric pulse successfully fights inflammation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150513093607.htm
North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Health System. "Single low-magnitude electric pulse successfully fights inflammation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150513093607.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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