Can neuromodulation support the fight against the COVID19 pandemic? Transcutaneous non-invasive vagal nerve stimulation as a potential targeted treatment of fulminant acute respiratory distress syndrome.
The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly spread all over the world and caused a major health care crisis. About 20% of patients develop severe disease and require hospitalisation, which is associated with a high mortality rate of up to 97% in those being ventilated and respiratory failure being the leading cause of death. Despite many therapeutic agents being under current investigation there is yet no panacea available. With increasing rates of infection throughout the world, there is an urgent need for new therapeutic approaches to counteract the infection. As the nervous system has shown to be a strong modulator of respiratory function and the immune response, we want to highlight pathways involved in regulation of respiratory function, the neuro-immune axis as well as the rationale for a potential targeted treatment of fulminant acute respiratory distress syndrome via transcutaneous non-invasive vagal nerve stimulation in critically-ill COVID-19 patients.
PMID: 33017913 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
Med Hypotheses. 2020 Oct;143:110093
Authors: Bara GA, de Ridder D, Maciaczyk J