Pranayama Could be the Best Nonpharmacological and Nonsurgical Method of Vagal Nerve Stimulation
Vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) has been established to be useful in the treatment of a number of diseases and has been used quite effectively for the treatment of epilepsy and depression in adults.[1,2] There is accumulating evidence to suggest that VNS could be used to suppress inflammation in autonomic dysfunction or inflammatory disorders, which would make it useful for a wider range of geriatric and pediatric patients as well. Preliminary reports have revealed promising result of VNS in the treatment of stroke, autoimmune diseases, heart and lung failure, obesity, and pain management. Further, studies are being conducted to fully elucidate the mechanistic actions that explain VNS’s potential role in treating these disorders. However, till date, many of these studies do not explain the detailed mechanisms of the therapeutic benefits of VNS. Hence, future studies should focus on the mechanisms by which VNS alters autonomic tone and that will be the key to the further our understanding of VNS modification in health and disease. However, it is known that the VNS interacts with the body’s immune system to modify inflammatory tone by inhibiting the release of pro‑inflammatory cytokines and facilitating the activity of anti‑inflammatory cytokines. There are overwhelming data to suggest that vagal nerve is an important component of the immune response, and manipulating vagal tone is a way to improve the immune system. Using VNS to manipulate vagal tone provides an exciting new opportunity for minimally invasive therapeutic intervention in adult and pediatric patients. Read more. . .
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