DOI: 10.1161/strokeaha.123.043414 ISSN:

tVNS in Stroke: A Narrative Review on the Current State and the Future

Sheharyar S. Baig, Marharyta Kamarova, Simon M. Bell, Ali N. Ali, Li Su, Munya Dimairo, Jesse Dawson, Jessica N. Redgrave, Arshad Majid
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Neurology (clinical)

Ischemic stroke is a leading cause of disability and there is a paucity of therapeutic strategies that promote functional recovery after stroke. Transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (tVNS) has shown promising evidence as a tool to reduce infarct size in animal models of hyperacute stroke. In chronic stroke, tVNS paired with limb movements has been shown to enhance neurological recovery. In this review, we summarize the current evidence for tVNS in preclinical models and clinical trials in humans. We highlight the mechanistic pathways involved in the beneficial effects of tVNS. We critically evaluate the current gaps in knowledge and recommend the key areas of research required to translate tVNS into clinical practice in acute and chronic stroke.

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