Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Psychophysiology. 2020 Mar 23:e13571. doi: 10.1111/psyp.13571. [Epub ahead of print]

Moving beyond belief: A narrative review of potential biomarkers for transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation.

Author information

1
Health Psychology Research Group, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.
2
Biological Psychology Research Group, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.
3
Department of Clinical Psychology, Leiden University, Leiden, the Netherlands.

Abstract

Transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (tVNS) is a non-invasive neurostimulation technique that is currently being tested as a potential treatment for a myriad of neurological and psychiatric disorders. However, the working mechanisms underlying tVNS are poorly understood and it remains unclear whether stimulation activates the vagus nerve for every participant. Finding a biological marker of tVNS is imperative, as it can help guide research on clinical applications and can inform researchers on optimal stimulation sites and parameters to further optimize treatment efficacy. In this narrative review, we discuss five potential biomarkers for tVNS and review currently available evidence for these markers for both invasive and tVNS. While some of these biomarkers hold promise from a theoretical perspective, none of the potential biomarkers provide clear and definitive indications that tVNS increases the vagal activity or augments activity in the locus coeruleus-noradrenaline network. We conclude the review by providing several recommendations for how to tackle the challenges and opportunities when researching potential biomarkers for the effects of tVNS.

KEYWORDS:

P300; biomarker; heart rate variability; locus coeruleus; noradrenaline; pupil size; salivary alpha-amylase; transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation; vagal somatosensory evoked potential

PMID:
32202671
DOI:
10.1111/psyp.13571

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center