Selective control of physiological responses by temporally-patterned electrical stimulation of the canine vagus nerve.
Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is effective for treating epilepsy and depression, and has emerging indications for anxiety and heart failure. However, stimulation-evoked side effects remain a challenge for long-term compliance. We investigated the feasibility of reducing VNS side effects by using a temporally-modified stimulation pattern. In 4 anesthetized canines, we measured changes in both the heart rate and evoked laryngeal muscle activity. Compared to baseline, we found that a 5% duty cycle (measured by the number of pulses per second of stimulation) could still evoke a 21% reduction in heart rate; whereas compared to continuous stimulation (3 mA, 300 μs pulsewidth, 20 Hz) the same 5% duty cycle reduced the evoked laryngeal muscle activity by 90%. The results of this study indicate that temporally-patterned stimulation may provide an effective tool for optimizing VNS therapy.
Yoo, PB; Hincapie, JG; Hamann, JJ; Ruble, SB; Wolf, PD; Grill, WM
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