Physios For ME have a new survey and is recruiting: “An international survey of experiences and attitudes towards Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation for people with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis /Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.”
There are anecdotal reports that Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation (tVNS) is being used for symptom management by people with ME, but there has been very little formal research exploring the use and experiences of this approach.
tVNS involves stimulation of the vagus nerve via electrodes applied to part of the ear, with the theory that this will stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system and address symptoms of autonomic dysfunction.
Just for clarification: The MEA is not recommending that people should try using devices that produce vagus nerve stimulation.
Whilst there is some interesting research information to indicate that vagal nerve dysfunction MAY be involved in the pathophysiology of ME/CFS, the use of these devices is highly speculative in our current state of knowledge.
We just do not know if they are safe or effective.
Dr Charles Shepherd
Trustee and Hon. Medical Adviser. The ME Association.