Scientists test implantable vagus stimulator to fight inflammation
In my recent post on the vagus nerve connection I shared some research on how faulty wiring in this heart, brain and stomach connection can cause us to overeat, affect our heart rate and state of mind, and that it may be involved in postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), Alzheimer’s and epilepsy.
The vagus nerve is particularly important to us because it can prevent inflammatory cytokines involved in mast cell disorders from being synthesised/released specifically in the stomach, one of our most common flare spots (all references in original post). Sadly for many of us, the vagus nerve’s neurotransmitter, how it communicates with the body, is acetylcholine, which is inhibited by various meds regularly prescribed to many of us, including: Benadryl, Xanax and various other psych and stomach meds (Google acetylcholine inhibitors for a full list).
In the original post I talked about how vagus stimulation can reduce histamine-induced itching, regulate intestinal mast cells, fight mast cell inflammation and prevent or treat depression and other neuropsychiatric conditions, as well as outlining how we can naturally stimulate the vagus at home.
But now scientists at Purdue University, in collaboration with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are developing a wireless implantable device for “treating conditions resulting from the body’s inflammatory response”. Upon reading the news I guessed that DARPA involvement centres on the need for an effective post traumatic stress disorder treatment for the scores of soldiers being let down by the current system.
According to the website, their “bionode” will stimulate the vagus in the neck, thereby regulating the production of inflammatory cytokines. The program is planning to create a complete system that can be tested in human clinical trials geared for conditions like chronic pain, inflammatory diseases and, sure enough, as I thought, PTSD.
Rather strangely, though I’m not sure I would have wanted to embrace the cyborg look to treat my post-war PTSD, I’m really quite excited to at least entertain the notion to fight inflammation. What do you think? Will you go for it when this hits the market?
Please remember, even antihistamine and anti-inflammatory foods can hurt us, please always exercise caution and consult a medical practitioner before adding new foods.